OKLAHOMA CITY, Oct. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, 22 states selected dealers from four of the nation's largest auto manufacturers including Chrysler, Ford, GM and Honda to deliver compressed natural gas cargo, utility and passenger vehicles for use in their state fleets.
For the past year, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper have led a national, bi-partisan initiative to develop more functional and affordable compressed natural gas vehicles, which has included securing the support of 13 other governors, meetings with automobile manufacturers in Detroit and releasing a Request for Proposal soliciting bids for more CNG vehicles for use in state fleets.
Yesterday, Fallin and Hickenlooper announced the preliminary results of the initiative sharing some of the success stories with the attendees of the 2012 Governor's Energy Conference in Oklahoma City.
"The initiative has been enormously successful," Fallin said. "We asked auto manufacturers to develop products that were more affordable and functional. With the combined purchasing power of our 22 states, we successfully provided the incentive to do so. States will now have the incentive and ability to begin converting their fleets to CNG while saving millions of dollars in taxpayer money."
Because CNG vehicles run on cheaper fuel than gasoline-powered vehicles, they are predicted to produce significant taxpayer savings. For instance, after recouping CNG system costs, a three-quarter ton CNG pickup truck would still cost about $20,000 less to operate over its life-cycle compared to its gasoline counterpart.
Hickenlooper said that today's award will help move CNG into the marketplace, both in and outside of government.
"This announcement represents a major success for CNG and even more importantly for our economy," Hickenlooper said. "We believe this is the start of a national movement to add much-needed fuel diversity to our nation's transportation sector while at the same time creating jobs and helping to grow local economies."
Fallin added the movement to CNG vehicles would help the environment and boost the economy.
"CNG vehicles represent a key component of the movement towards American energy independence," Fallin said. "Converting state fleets to CNG promotes the use of a cleaner burning, more affordable fuel that is made right here in the United States and supports the creation of American jobs."
Over 100 bids were submitted by dealerships in 28 states throughout the nation representing Ford, Chrysler, General Motors and Honda. Bid details were released today at https://www.ok.gov/dcs/solicit/app/solicitationDetail.php?conID=410.
Both governors hope to eventually add awards for four door sedans and half-ton pickup trucks, the two most popular models in the private sector.
Aaron Cooper, Press Secretary
Jay Albert, Deputy Secretary of Energy
SOURCE The Office of Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin