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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 15/05/2014
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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) In august last year the civic body fitted 25 of its cars with compressed natural gas (cng) kits which are now running on the streets of abu dhabi.

the abu dhabi city municipality has added 150 natural gas-powered vehicles to its fleet.

in august last year the civic body fitted 25 of its cars with compressed natural gas (cng) kits which are now running on the streets of abu dhabi.

“a large number of these vehicles have actually been fitted and a large portion of them have been deployed in service as of april 20. by may 18 all of them will be up and running” said othman mohammed sharif fulathi director of facilities and security at abu dhabi city municipality.

one of the municipality cars that runs on cng. — supplied photo

“like other vehicles ... of abu dhabi city municipality these vehicles are fitted with a gps tracking system as well to track their movement with a view to reduce consumption and ensure the optimal use of vehicles.”

compressed natural gas (cng )cars are considered “greener” as they produce fewer emissions than traditional gasoline-based vehicles.

natural gas fuel has been around since the 1930s but it is only in the past decade that it has been considered as a serious alternive to gasoline partly due to growing concerns of climate change.

technological advancement and greater engine efficiency has also helped in cng being recognised as a good alternative.

in the uae cng stations were first established in 2011 by the abu dhabi national oil company (adnoc). by 2015 the uae is slated to have 20 natural gas vehicles (ngv) filling stations — 16 in abu dhabi and four in other emirates — as well as nine vehicle conversion workshops.

apart from the occasional taxi cng filling pumps remain unused most of the time. although the initial plan was to have most of abu dhabi’s official vehicles converted to cng only a fraction have done so.

there are close to 8000 taxis in abu dhabi but only a quarter of them have been fitted with cng kits. most drivers are either unaware of the benefits of cng or are put off by the cost — a cng conversion kit costs about dh12000. once installed the driver has the option to use either cng or petrol at the flip of a switch.

according to adnoc cng makes economic sense especially for cars covering high mileage such as taxis and couriers. for such vehicles fuel costs can be reduced by 30 per cent and its owners can recover their initial installation costs within 18 months.

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