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60059-1 Report Abstract

Analysis of the University of Texas at Austin Compressed Natural Gas Demonstration Bus

Cheng-Ming Wu, Ron Matthews, and Mark Euritt, University of Texas at Austin, June 1994, 114 pp.

A demonstration compressed natural gas (CNG) bus has been operating on the University of Texas at Austin shuttle system since 1992. This CNG vehicle, provided by the Blue Bird Company, was an opportunity for the University to evaluate the effectiveness of a CNG bus for shuttle operations. Three basic operating comparisons were made: 1) fuel consumption, 2) tire wear, and 3) vehicle performance. The bus was equipped with a data logger, which was downloaded regularly for trip reports. Tire wear was monitored regularly, and performance tests were conducted at the Natural Gas Vehicle Technology Center. Overall, the data suggest that fuel costs for the CNG bus are comparable to those for University diesel buses. This is a result of the lower fuel price for natural gas. Actual natural gas fuel consumption was higher for the CNG buses than for the diesel buses. Due to weight differences, tire wear was much less on the CNG buses. Finally, after installation of a closed-loop system, the CNG bus out-performed the diesel bus on the acceleration, grade climbing ability, and speed.

Keywords: Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Bus, Demonstration, Shuttle System, Fuel Consumption, Tire Wear, Vehicle Performance, Data Logger, Performance Tests, Fuel Costs, Diesel Buses, Closed-Loop System, Acceleration, Speed, Grade Climbing Ability

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Reference Report #60059-1