Natural Gas Vehicle Benefits

Natural gas vehicles (NGVs) offer substantial economic and environmental advantages over vehicles powered by gasoline and diesel. They can have a positive impact on air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce dependence on petroleum, and use a low-cost, domestic fuel. 

Environmental Benefits

Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

NGVs using renewable natural gas (RNG) are some of the cleanest vehicles in commercial production. The newest natural gas engines with Near-Zero technology produce 90% fewer NOx emissions than the current standard, and when fueled with RNG, they have up to 115% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than diesel counterparts well-to-wheel.

RNG as a motor fuel has also been verified in the State of California as carbon negative, and it is zero-emission equivalent when it comes to smog-forming tailpipe pollutants like NOx.

Produce Less Noise and Odor

The sound pressure level of an RNG engine is lower than that of a diesel engine, causing 90 percent less noise1. This makes NGVs an especially good choice in densely populated areas or for vehicles that operate at night. In addition, refueling with RNG instead of gasoline or diesel reduces odorant and evaporative emissions.


Robust Infrastructure

NGVs represent a proven technology that is available right now. The existing public refueling infrastructure in Southern California is robust and continues to expand.

The use of RNG for transportation can help create a bridge to a hydrogen future as natural gas from existing pipelines is already the leading fuel feedstock in the production of hydrogen.

Economic Benefits

Cost Effectiveness

Historically, natural gas has cost significantly less than a gasoline or diesel gallon equivalent in the SoCalGas service area2. The U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration* tracks historical pricing for gasoline, as well as diesel.

Additionally, grants and incentives may be available from a variety of sources to help with the purchase of NGVs.


High Performance

NGVs often deliver similar horsepower ratings to their diesel and gasoline-powered counterparts. Premium gasoline is 91 octane, while natural gas has an octane rating of approximately 130. This higher octane allows for increased engine compression and combustion efficiency. Because of the clean-burning attributes of natural gas, NGVs generally have longer engine life compared to most gasoline-powered vehicles.


Secure, Domestic Fuel Supply

Almost all natural gas currently consumed in the U.S. is produced in North America, so driving NGVs can help reduce our dependence on foreign oil. 

Additional Resources

Natural Gas Vehicles for America (NGVAmerica)

NGVAmerica is a national organization dedicated to the development of a growing, profitable, and sustainable market for vehicles powered by natural gas or biomethane. Visit the organization's website for more information about using natural gas and biomethane as transportation fuels.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternate Fuels Data Center (AFDC)

The AFDC provides information, data, and tools to help fleets and other transportation decision makers find ways to reach their energy and economic goals through the use of alternative and renewable fuels, advanced vehicles, and other fuel-saving measures.



1INFORM Report: Greening Garbage Trucks: Trends in Alternative Fuel Use, 2002-2005*

2Sources: Gasoline prices acquired from annual average of U.S. Government Energy Information Administration's Weekly California Regular Reformulated Retail gasoline prices. Diesel prices acquired from annual average of U.S. Government Energy Information Administration's Monthly California No. 2 Diesel Retail Sales. CNG prices acquired from annual average of SoCalGas monthly public CNG station prices.