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First the backstory: I am a recently underemployed engineer, with a degree in Mechanical and another in Aerospace, and quite a few years of experience doing both. I have a 2006 Lotus Exige, and have always loved the attention the car grabs and the raw fun driving it affords! I am located in the midwest, where gas is much cheaper than for most of you, and I still think it's a bit ridiculous. Here in Oklahoma, we have a very strong natural gas distribution network, and great incentives to convert our cars. That being said..

I know the topic has been brought up, but short of Lotus' development car they did a while back, I have not seen a straight-forward solution to convert your Lotus to an NGV. A lot of that may be the stigma that CNG causes a loss in power, or reliability, or range, or.. but I have seen first hand, that when done properly CNG can deliver the same if not more power than gasoline! The key here is properly! The hardest sell of an NGV is those very same hangups.. well, I love my profession, and a love my Lotus, so I'm trying to merge the two; so, without further adieu!

I am trying to gauge interest and support level for a project to develop dedicated NGV kits for the Elise and Exige, and turn my 2006 Lotus Exige into a sort of traveling show-car to trumpet CNG and it's capabilities. The idea is to convert the Lotus into even more of a beast on the track, and to do it all only with CNG. I will spin off of that and develop a kit to convert any forced-induction Lotus into a dedicated NGV, sacrificing a bit of range for nearly identical performance. Is this something that people here would be interested in?

CNG has huge tax incentives, and though will fluctuate more than electric is a way to maintain all the performance and soul of a Lotus while still being considerably cleaner and without the extensive modifications required by an electric car. Also, in many places such as here in the Midwest, CNG is actually cleaner than electric as a net effect, since we get quite a bit of our power from dirty coal plants. Thoughts, anyone?
 

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I know for a fact that it is a viable technology because it is somewhat widespread in the other parts of the world.
It's also participated in racing activities such as BTCC, but problem remains.
Infrastructure would be an issue...
So is added weight from the gas tank...
Limited range would also be an issue, but I wouldn't know how to guesstimate.
I know my Exige S240 gets around 230mi per tank, give or take 20mi, but I would venture a guess that it'll be less for LPG/CNG, maybe something like 190~200mi since you need to push more volume of gas than gasoline per volume or air... Or at least that's what I heard from those taxi cabs in South Korea. The mileage suffers per tank size, but it costs less to fill up.
Taking the car to a longer trip could be an issue, and filling the car up at the track could also prove troublesome...

I personally think this technology fits under the same category as converting a car to run on used frying oil. It's cool, and it's definitely doable, but would someone bother...??
 
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