Could natural gas be on its way to replacing regular gasoline?

By: Ian Hest

Could natural gas be on its way to replacing regular gasoline? Black Hills Energy believes so and will soon be making a big step towards that.

They say natural gas is cleaner for the air, better for your car and ultimately safer. But the biggest factor might be, it's cheaper. Which is why Black Hills Energy believes it will be powering our cars, sooner than later.

It doesn't sound like a traditional gas pump, or look like one, but Black Hills Energy says their new public natural gas station on 16th Street, just north of Old Cheney will be soon enough.

“It'll be a dispenser that's very similar to gasoline dispensers with a card reader built into the dispenser and pistol grip nozzles for filling up your vehicle,” said Paul Cammack with Black Hills Energy.

Black Hills says they hope to have this station completed by the Fall and they say it will look almost identical to the gas stations we're already used to filling up with. The only difference is they're not going to be selling pop and candy and things like that.

The station will be the second public natural gas station in Lincoln, joining one at the airport. Black Hills Energy says the advantages are simple, natural gas cars have similar gas mileage, are safer than gasoline but most of all, it's cheaper. Currently, it's just $1.93 a gallon.

“It's a big savings that I can pass along to my customers,” said Eric Hoke with Eric's Electric. Black Hills says they think that number will stay down, because natural gas comes from right here in America.

“Foreign oil that we bring into this country, I think we import about 60 percent of what we use. So, we're sitting on all this natural gas. We might as well use it as an alternative fuel for transportation,” said Cammack.

Black Hills says to convert your car to natural gas, it'll run you about $10,000. At that current price, it's geared more towards fleets of vehicles rather than your everyday commuter, but they expect that to change over the next several years.