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Fueling for Natural Gas Vehicles

CNG Fueling

At CNG stations, the gas is typically taken from the local gas utility’s line at low pressure, compressed and dispensed into the vehicle's storage tanks at high pressure, typically to 3,600 psi. There are two basic types of fueling equipment: fast-fill and time-fill.

  • Fast-fill systems combine a compressor and a high-pressure storage system. The storage system, called a cascade, fills the vehicle's fuel tank in about the same time it takes to fuel a regular vehicle.
  • Time-fill systems do not have a storage system and typically compress the gas directly into the vehicle storage cylinders to refuel vehicles while they are parked overnight.

Public CNG stations are currently limited but the number of locations is expanding rapidly. Individual consumers or public/private fleet operators may also choose to install their own CNG fueling stations.

Virginia existing and proposed CNG fueling stations open to the public or use the U.S. Government Department of Energy's Alternative Fueling Station Locator to find the public station nearest you.

How to Refuel

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) saves up to 50% over conventional fuels, and there are five public fast-fill refueling stations located throughout Virginia. Consumers who are natural gas customers also have the option of refueling at home with a natural gas home refueling appliance, which uses a time-fill system of filling a tank overnight. 

The process for refueling is almost identical to the process used at local gasoline stations. Most public CNG stations accept credit cards at the dispenser and the filling time is similar to using a gasoline pump.

Refueling Instructions for a Fast-Fill Dispenser

Most stations have no attendants on duty. You will first need to be trained on the use of the CNG operations. The Company will proved the short training.

Here are the instructions to operate most public CNG dispensers:

  1. Turn off your engine. Do not smoke.

  2. Remove the vehicle's dust cap and take the fueling nozzle off its holder.

  3. Align the arrows on the nozzle so they point to each other.

  4. Place the nozzle over the fuel receptacle push it on.

  5. Rotate the lever so that the arrows point away from each other to lock the nozzle on.

  6. Insert your fleet or credit card and follow the instructions on the screen.

  7. Once payment is authorized, lift the dispenser handle, and fueling will begin.

  8. When the fill is complete, lower the handle to turn the dispenser off.

  9. To disconnect the nozzle, slowly rotate the nozzle handle 180 degrees until the arrows are again pointing to each other.

  10. Remove the nozzle. You may hear a slight release of pressure.

  11. Return the nozzle to its holder and replace the dust cap.

Station Maintenance and Locations

Find information about Compressed Natural Gas Station Maintenance and Available Locations