Onboard Dynamics, Inc., an Ore.-based developer of CNG refueling solutions, has received $3 million in public and private funding to improve engines that would allow cars to run on CNG and bring them to the market.
The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), Portland Seed Fund, NW Natural, and other utilities and private investors contributed to the funding. ARPA-E, an agency within the U.S. Department of Energy designed to advance technologies that aren’t ready for the market, provided $2.4 million of the total that was funded, according to The Bulletin.
“This additional funding commitment puts Onboard Dynamics on track to become a financially sustainable provider of affordable CNG refueling solutions,” said Rita Hansen, CEO of Onboard Dynamics. “Over the next 18 months we will complete development, testing, and market introduction of our first products.”
Onboard Dynamics is currently pursuing two CNG refueling solutions: a fully-integrated onboard engine-compressor system and a standalone, mobile, self-powered compressor system. The latter would be used with vehicles that have already been configured to run on CNG, and might be available in late 2017.
Onboard Dynamics’ technology uses the power of an automobile’s engine to compress natural gas during the refueling process. The technology is intended to open up the existing natural gas distribution system to CNG vehicles, according to the company.
“Portland Seed Fund was the first investor in Onboard Dynamics because we saw the transformative potential of the technology and believed this was the right team to make it a success,” said Jim Huston, managing director of Portland Seed Fund. “Not only would their technology make natural gas more economically feasible for fleet vehicles, but it would help reduce transportation-related air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions.”