Incentives Could Be Offered For Natural Gas-Powered Vehicles

natural-gas-car-hybridBismarck Tribune

By Jessica Holdman

North Dakota lawmakers introduced a bill offering incentives for natural gas-powered vehicles and fueling stations in the state.

If passed, HB 1446 would set aside $1 million for the biennium for cost sharing on the construction of natural gas fueling stations and $3 million for cost sharing on the conversion of vehicles to burn natural gas rather than gasoline or diesel fuel.

“I think it’s a terrific step forward in North Dakota realizing its potential for natural gas vehicles,” said Robert Moffitt of North Dakota Clean Cities Coalition, an organization which has been advocating for the use of natural gas vehicles in the state.

Colorado and Utah already have similar incentives, Moffit said.

“Now these states are starting to reap the benefits,” he said.

As of this time last year, Colorado had 83 compressed natural gas-powered vehicles in its state fleet.

Utah has set a target to convert 50 percent of its state fleet to run on CNG by 2018. The state also has CNG fueling in Salt Lake City, West Valley City, Sandy, Lindon and Logan. The Utah Transit Authority plans to add 200 CNG-powered buses.

Minnesota has 10 CNG fueling stations open to the public. The Metro transit system in St. Cloud, Minn., now runs a fleet of CNG-powered public buses.

Under HB 1446, the natural gas fueling station incentive program will provide a maximum of $250,000 per retail location for equipment and installation.

The natural gas motor vehicle incentive program will award grants for as much as $7,500 for the purchase or conversion of a non-commercial natural gas and for as much as $15,000 for a commercial vehicle that uses natural gas. This amounts to roughly half of the cost.

The North Dakota Department of Commerce will run the program.

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