Date of Award

2014

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.Sc.

Department

Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering

First Advisor

Tam, Edwin

Keywords

alternative fuels, Compressed natural gas, Infrastructure, Italy, NGV, United States

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

The drive towards greater sustainability in the automotive industry and the continuing and rapid evolution of international emission standards have prompted nearly all automotive manufacturers to develop vehicles using alternative fuels compared to conventional gasoline. Natural gas is one promising fuel and could serve as a bridge fuel towards greener transportation. In particular, the renewed interest in natural gas as a vehicle fuel in the U.S has grown due to recent shale gas development which could ensure a long-term, low-cost and domestic source of natural gas. Unlike North America, however, natural gas vehicles are more widely used elsewhere in the world, and particularly in Europe. This thesis investigates the main issues and challenges associated with the growth of compressed natural gas light duty vehicles in the United States. To assess the feasibility of such strategy, a comparison analysis with the implementation of natural gas vehicles and infrastructure support in Italy was undertaken. Furthermore, the broad economic and environmental tradeoffs have been assessed using the Economic Input-Output Life Cycle Assessment model.

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