PSNC Energy, the Triangle's natural gas utility, is adding public pumps for drivers of compressed natural gas vehicles that will make the Triangle relatively navigable for the cleanest cars in the world. By the end of next year the company could have as many as nine public stations selling natural gas for cars and trucks.
PSNC, with about 490,000 natural gas customers in the state, as recently as last year had just one public station that sold the vehicle fuel, commonly known as CNG. Meanwhile, Charlotte-based Piedmont Natural Gas, the state's biggest natural gas utility, is expanding its three CNG stations to eight by next year.
Cars that run on CNG are typically ranked cleaner than electric cars because much of the nation's electricity is still generated by burning coal.
PSNC has had a CNG station at its Gastonia headquarters for years and had as many as three operating stations in 2000. But most fell into disrepair and disuse over the years because of lack of interest. But that's changing.