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Jun 6, 2013 5:37 PM by Morgan Frances - MFrances@kristv.com

Professor Pushes Expansion Of Natural Gas Vehicles

CORPUS CHRISTI - There is a new push to switch the vehicles we use now with ones that run on natural gas. The Westside Business Association held an annual fundraiser where the keynote speaker talked about some of the benefits with using natural gas vehicles.

"I pay 90 cents a gallon," proclaimed Dr. Ken Morgan, Director of the Energy Institute at Texas Christian University.

Dr. Morgan says he pays to fuel his car with natural gas. today he spoke at the holiday inn to encourage cities and people to jump on the natural gas band wagon.

"We'll be thinking natural gas for cars and trucks from here on out," Dr Morgan said.

The Corpus Christi R.T.A. has started switching it's fleet of buses to run on natural gas but getting average people to jump on board has been an issue.

Dr. Morgan said, "It's hard to change our ways. You get used to something, you get used to driving your gasoline car and then diesel came along and that took a long time for people to appreciate the diesel engine."

Favio Garcia, filling up his heavy duty 4x4 at the gas station said the same, "I think they're just kind of scared. Scared what the maintenance is going to be on these vehicles."

The problem is that people don't want to drive around town looking for a natural gas station but Dr. Morgan says General Electric is about to make that process a whole lot more accessible.

Since roughly 60 million homes already have natural gas, GE is planning to install at home refueling units. the convenience of fueling up at home at least has Garcia intrigued.

"That would be great," he said, "That would probably solve the problem of people asking where they're going to get the fuel for these vehicles."

Those who heard 90 cents a gallon said they'd consider switching.

"if it were better and cheaper, yeah I would," one customer said.

Flavio Garcia said, "It'd be great. I wouldn't be driving this thing now if it was 90 cents."

Dr. Morgan says the next step is to hold more of these meetings and get the word out that natural gas vehicles are no longer a thing of the future.

If you would like to follow Morgan Frances, "friend" her on Facebook or "follow" her on Twitter.

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