Only natural gas filling station in Northern Virginia hits Loudoun
Newport Beach, Calif.-based Clean Energy Fuels will be operating the facility which will be open 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
The station is run as a partnership between Clean Energy and Quarles Fleet Fueling, a Fredericksburg energy company.
There were around 120,000 natural gas vehicles in use in the United States as of 2011, according to the Transportation Energy Data Book.
Most of those vehicles are shuttle buses, garbage and refuse fleets and tractors, according to Alleyn Harned, executive director of Virginia Clean Cities, a clean air nonprofit.
Because of the proximity to Dulles Airport and the heavy use of buses and tractors, the location of the refueling station near the airport makes sense, according to Harned.
"The volume in and out was complementary for the existing use," said Harned.
There are currently 1,375 compressed natural gas fueling stations in the United States, with only 20 in Virginia.
Natural gas vehicles are also available in Chrysler, Ford, General Motors and Honda models in the United States. Natural gas vehicles cost more, but the compressed natural gas that goes in is much cheaper per gallon – sometimes as much as $1.40 cheaper than regular petroleum gasoline.
A regular 2014 Honda Civic is going for $18,390, but a 2014 Natural Gas Honda Civic costs $26,640.
Natural gas vehicles are less toxic for the air, according to Harned. Natural gas cars make economic sense to buy only if the user will be driving hundreds of thousands of miles in the car.
At current gas prices it makes more sense economically to buy a Honda Civic if the car travels north of 200,000 miles, an easily attainable goal for one of the most durable cars on the market.
The Civic was actually named to the Consumer Reports list of the "10 cars most likely to go 200,000 miles."