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Natural Gas Fuel

Natural gas is a mixture of hydrocarbon compounds in gaseous state, mostly methane (EIA, 2019). For additional background, see the Alternative Fuels Data Center's Natural Gas Fuel Basics webpage.

On this page, explore the fuel price and emissions intensity of natural gas.

Emissions estimates use the Argonne National Laboratory's GREET model (Wang et al., 2022). The underlying source for a value in the table can be seen by placing your mouse cursor over that value. The data sources are also cited—with hyperlinked linked references—in the Key Assumptions section below.   


Key Assumptions

The data and estimates presented here are based on the following key assumptions:

  • Fuel Price: The fuel price (e.g., Lowest Cost, Lowest Emissions) is associated with a single year. Because we do not provide a time-series trajectory, here we show fuel price at a frozen level for all years so we can offer a range of fuel price values. In the levelized cost of driving and emissions charts, this approach clearly distinguishes effects of fuels from those of vehicle technologies, because fuels remain constant while vehicle technologies change over time.
  • Current Market Price: The current market natural gas price is based on the 2020 national average retail prices for compressed natural gas reported by Clean Cities from April 2020 to January 2021 (DOE, 2020)(DOE, 2021), which include federal and state motor fuel taxes.
  • Emissions Estimates: The emissions estimates are from the GREET model (Wang et al., 2022). See documentation of natural gas leakage rate assumptions in GREET for effects of natural gas leakage on CO2e emissions.

The data downloads include additional details of assumptions and calculations for each metric.


For detailed definitions, see:





Fuel price


Well-to-tank emissions

Well-to-wheels emissions


The following references are specific to this page; for all references in this ATB, see References.

EIA. “Glossary,” 2019.

Wang, Michael, Amgad Elgowainy, Uisung Lee, Kwang Hoon Baek, Adarsh Bafana, Pahola Thathiana Benavides, Andrew Burnham, et al. “Summary of Expansions and Updates in GREET® 2022.” Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States), October 1, 2022.

DOE. “Clean Cities Alternative Fuel Price Report, July 2020.” Washington D.C.: U.S. Department of Energy, 2020.

DOE. “Clean Cities Alternative Fuel Price Report, January 2021.” Washington D.C.: U.S. Department of Energy, 2021.

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