Though nearly two times as many natural gas vehicles will be on the road at year’s end than plug-ins, the federal government is investing heavily in electric technology. Some experts wonder whether the U.S. chose the wrong technology to support.
Four years ago President Barack Obama unveiled his vision of 1 million plug-in vehicles on U.S. roads by 2015, pumping about $5 billion in federal funding into electric cars.
But then natural gas prices fell to roughly half the price of gasoline. Now a stodgy, undersubsidized horde of natural gas vehicles is catching on with everyday consumers despite a paucity of marketing or fueling infrastructure.
By year-end, 123,600 natural gas vehicles will be on U.S. roads, compared with 65,500 plug-in vehicles, Pike Research’s Smart Transportation practice estimates.