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 itsfleet.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 ofthem have been deployed in service as of April 20. By May 18, all of them will be upand running,” said Othman Mohammed Sharif Fulathi, Director of Facilities andSecurity at Abu Dhabi City Municipality."Like other vehicles ... of Abu Dhabi City Municipality, these vehicles are fitted with aGPS tracking system as well to track their movement with a view to reduceconsumption and ensure the optimal use of vehicles.”Compressed natural gas (CNG )cars are considered "greener” as they produce feweremissions than traditional gasoline-based vehicles.
Natural gas fuel has been around since the 1930s, but it is only in the past decadethat it has been considered as a serious alternative to gasoline, partly due togrowing concerns of climate change.Technological advancement and greater engine efficiency has also helped in CNGbeing recognised as a good alternative.In the UAE, CNG stations were first established in 2011 by the Abu Dhabi NationalOil 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 convertedto CNG, only a fraction have done so.There are close to 8,000 taxis in Abu Dhabi, but only a quarter of them have beenfitted with CNG kits. Most drivers are either unaware of the benefits of CNG or areput off by the cost — a CNG conversion kit costs about Dh12,000. Once installed, thedriver 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 highmileage such as taxis and couriers. For such vehicles, fuel costs can be reduced by30 per cent and its owners can recover their initial installation costs within 18months.