Onboard Dynamics — an innovator in compressed natural gas refueling — has received $3 million from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy, Portland Seed Fund, NW Natural and other utilities and private investors.
Compressed natural gas (CNG) is a cleaner alternative to fossil fuels and is used to power natural gas vehicles.
But the lack of fueling stations nationally has inhibited the widespread adoption of CNG vehicles, with 1,600 CNG fueling stations nationwide — with 72 million customer natural gas sites.
The funding will help Onboard Dynamic develop technology that uses a car’s own engine power to compress natural gas during the refueling process, which would open up the existing natural gas distribution system to CNG vehicles.
“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, in a press release. “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.”
Onboard Dynamics previously received funding support from ARPA-E, ONAMI, Oregon BEST, Oregon State University, and the Portland Seed Fund, Oregon’s most active venture capital fund, among other strategic partners and private investors.
Rita Hansen, CEO of Onboard Dynamics, said that the additional funding commitment “puts the company on track to become a financially sustainable provider of affordable CNG refueling solutions.”
The company will complete development, testing and market introduction of its first products over the next 18 months.