Advances Concept for a Self-Fueling Natural Gas Vehicle
Oregon’s Onboard Dynamics said today that it’s received $3 million from ARPA-E, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, from the Portland Seed Fund, from NW Natural and other utilities, and from private investors to further its concept of using a natural gas vehicle’s engine to compress the vehicle’s fuel.
Onboard Dynamics has also enjoyed ARPA-E support via the agency’s MOVE – Methane Opportunities for Vehicle Energy – initiative (F&F, September 22, 2015).
The company is pursuing a two-pronged approach to commercialization:
- continued development of a fully integrated onboard engine-compressor system, and
- concurrent development of a standalone, mobile, self-powered compressor system.
“This additional funding commitment puts Onboard Dynamics on track to become a financially sustainable provider of affordable CNG refueling solutions,” CEO Rita Hansen said in today’s release.
“Over the next 18 months we will complete development, testing and market introduction of our first products,” she said.
Taking Advantage of Existing Infrastructure
The lack of fueling stations nationally has inhibited the widespread adoption of CNG vehicles, Onboard Dynamics says: “There are only 1,600 CNG fueling stations nationwide, but 72 million customer natural gas sites.
“Onboard Dynamics’ technology uses the automotive engine’s own power to compress natural gas during the refueling process, which would open up the existing natural gas distribution system to CNG vehicles.”
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Source: Onboard Dynamics with Fleets & Fuels follow-up