High gas prices are reviving enthusiasm for all sorts of alternative fuels. The Toyota Camry hybrid concept, which will debut at the Los Angeles auto show, hopes to give compressed natural gas a new lease on life.
This will be the Japanese automaker’s second attempt to promote compressed natural gas (CNG) for use in consumer vehicles. It sold fleet customers a CNG powered Camry in 1999, but received little interest. Gas prices have tripled since then, and Toyota thinks Americans might now embrace it.
Natural gas offers several advantages, including its plentiful supply in North America and its relatively clean burning characteristics, but it would still be very difficult for consumers to find refueling stations for CNG vehicles. Toyota says the CNG network is growing though, and adds that any form of alternative energy, including hydrogen, will require investment in infrastructure.