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Natural Gas Vehicles Clearing the Air in the Southwest

LAS VEGAS, July 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Fleet operators in Arizona, Nevada and California have joined with Southwest Gas Corporation in an effort to reduce air pollution through the increased use of natural gas vehicles (NGVs).

Natural gas is an exceptionally clean-burning fuel and a performance-proven alternative to gasoline and diesel fuels. Vehicles fueled with natural gas produce significantly lower levels of harmful pollutants than do gasoline- or diesel-fueled vehicles. For example, NGVs reduce emissions of carbon monoxide by as much as 90 percent and reactive hydrocarbons, a major ingredient in the formation of smog, by 85 percent. Natural gas contains no particulates, such as those associated with diesel fuel, and also reduces emissions of carbon dioxide, the principal "greenhouse" gas.

At year-end 1997, nearly 5,000 NGVs were in use in Southwest Gas' Arizona, Nevada and California service territories, accounting for more than 7 percent of the 70,000 NGVs in use nationwide. In addition to Southwest's fleet of more than 600 NGVs, other entities with a substantial number of NGVs include: in Arizona, the City of Tucson/Sun Tran Transit, Super Shuttle of Phoenix, the City of Phoenix, Arizona State University, the Peoria School District, the City of Scottsdale; in California, the Victor Valley Transit; and in Nevada, the City of Las Vegas, the Clark County Government, the City of North Las Vegas, and the Regional Transportation Commission of Clark County.

Southwest Gas began operating NGVs some 35 years ago, when the technology was in its infancy. Now, the company operates advanced-technology NGVs and works with area fleet operators to assist them in assimilating NGVs into their own fleets. Approximately half of the company's NGVs have been purchased as factory-manufactured NGVs, and the balance are after-market conversions.

Today, all the major U.S. automobile, truck and bus manufacturers have NGV programs. For example, American Honda, Chrysler Corporation, General Motors, and Ford Motor Company have added NGVs to their product lines. Heavy duty natural gas engines are available through Cummins Engine Company, Deere Power Systems, Detroit Diesel Corporation and others.

For additional information about Southwest Gas' NGV program, contact Jay Taylor at 702-876-7287.
SOURCE Southwest Gas
CONTACT: Dante Pistone of Southwest Gas, 702-876-7253