IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Decentralized refueling of compressed natural gas (CNG) fleet vehicles in Southern California


  • Kelley, Scott
  • Kuby, Michael


While some compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle fleets have a station at their base for central refueling, others lack refueling capability at their fleet depot and must rely on publicly available stations. To understand this kind of decentralized refueling behavior, we surveyed 133 drivers of CNG fleet vehicles at six public stations across the Los Angeles region. Nearly one-third of CNG fleet drivers were solely reliant upon public refueling for their operations. For each driver's refueling trip, we used GIS to compare the chosen station's proximity to the driver's fleet base and their deviation from the shortest path between their previous and next stops relative to all other stations they could have chosen. This revealed-preference approach shows that fleet drivers chose the station with the smallest deviation over the station closest to base by a 6:1 ratio, though this ratio varied by the driver's availability of central refueling and type of vehicle and route. Given that public stations remain essential to meeting decentralized refueling demand for other fleets as well as consumers, these findings have important implications for fleets that are both considering the adoption of CNG vehicles and the additional investment of hosting central refueling infrastructure at their base.

Suggested Citation

  • Kelley, Scott & Kuby, Michael, 2017. "Decentralized refueling of compressed natural gas (CNG) fleet vehicles in Southern California," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 350-359.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:109:y:2017:i:c:p:350-359
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2017.07.017

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Zhao, Jimin & Melaina, Marc W., 2006. "Transition to hydrogen-based transportation in China: Lessons learned from alternative fuel vehicle programs in the United States and China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(11), pages 1299-1309, July.
    2. Melaina, Marc & Bremson, Joel, 2008. "Refueling availability for alternative fuel vehicle markets: Sufficient urban station coverage," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 3223-3231, August.
    3. Corts, Kenneth S., 2010. "Building out alternative fuel retail infrastructure: Government fleet spillovers in E85," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 219-234, May.
    4. Nesbitt, Kevin & Sperling, Daniel, 1998. "Myths Regarding Alternative Fuel Vehicle Demand by Light-Duty Vehicle Fleets," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt0q6053j9, University of California Transportation Center.
    5. Golob, Thomas F. & Torous, Jane & Bradley, Mark & Brownstone, David & Crane, Soheila Soltani & Bunch, David S., 1997. "Commercial fleet demand for alternative-fuel vehicles in California," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 219-233, May.
    6. Nesbitt, Kevin & Sperling, Daniel, 2001. "Fleet Purchase Behavior: Decision Processes and Implications for New Vehicle Technologies and Fuels," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt15k63162, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    7. Melaina, Marc W & Bremson, Joel, 2008. "Refueling Availability for Alternative Fuel Vehicle Markets: Sufficient Urban Station Coverage," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt8ng1g4rf, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    8. Oded Berman & Richard C. Larson & Nikoletta Fouska, 1992. "Optimal Location of Discretionary Service Facilities," Transportation Science, INFORMS, vol. 26(3), pages 201-211, August.
    9. Nesbitt, Kevin & Sperling, Daniel, 1998. "Myths Regarding Alternative Fuel Vehicle Demand by Light-Duty Vehicle Fleets," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt07c9h9cd, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    10. Flynn, Peter C., 2002. "Commercializing an alternate vehicle fuel: lessons learned from natural gas for vehicles," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(7), pages 613-619, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Kuby, Michael, 2019. "The opposite of ubiquitous: How early adopters of fast-filling alt-fuel vehicles adapt to the sparsity of stations," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 46-57.
    2. Szymon Kuczyński & Krystian Liszka & Mariusz Łaciak & Andrzej Olijnyk & Adam Szurlej, 2019. "Experimental Investigations and Operational Performance Analysis on Compressed Natural Gas Home Refueling System (CNG-HRS)," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(23), pages 1-15, November.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:109:y:2017:i:c:p:350-359. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.