For over a decade engine manufacturers have been pursuing alternative fuel strategies for vehicle powertrains. First came the discussion of fuel selection. Next, whether or not these alternative fuels can provide the utility offered by traditional diesel. Finally, the footrace of technology and hardware to provide utility, reliability and maintainability with the use of alternative fuels. Now the day has come where many alternative fuels are a practical reality. The body of this paper will discuss the utilization of natural gas as an alternative fuel. This paper targets the fleet operator in an effort to provide a single source of information in a concise format. A discussion of emission standards, engine operational strategies, component technology, fuel characteristics and the utility of using natural gas as a fuel will be addressed. The understanding of present and future engine development is of great importance to a successful fleet operation. It is vital that fleet operators gain advance knowledge of products so at the time of procurement a more logical approach and informed choice can be made. This approach will aid them at the time when natural gas is no longer a substitute, but rather a first choice.