The feasibility of adopting natural gas as a vehicle fuel for Manitoba school bus fleets
Molinski, David W.
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Interest in alternative transportation fuels has grown over the last few years. However, many questions arise regarding fuel availability, vehicle costs, refueling requirements, economic viability and environmental impacts. With any new technology, potential consumers must have impartial information available to compare between alternative fuels. One alternative fuel now being seriously examined is natural gas. This study focused on the feasibility of adopting natural gas as a vehicle fuel for Manitoba school bus fleets. The objective of this practicum was to provide decision makers with impartial information upon which to base their decisions regarding the potential conversion of school buses to operate on natural gas. There were three sub-objectives: (1 analysis of the economic potential of adopting natural gas as a vehicle fuel; (2) analysis of potential reductions in tailpipe emissions if school bus fleets are converted to natural gas operation; and, (3) analysis of the technological viability of natural gas as a vehicle fuel. Included with this practicum is a computer disk copy of the spreadsheet model used to analyze the economic and environmental impacts of converting school buses to use natural gas. The economic analysis indicated that four of the eight school divisions assessed produced positive net present values. The conversion of school buses to operate using natural gas in these four school divisions would result in reductions of tailpipe emissions. Analysis of the technical feasibility indicated that conversion of school buses to operate on natural gas is technically feasible from both operational and refueling aspects.