How One Dealership Is Making CNG An Offer No One Can Refuse

A Florida-based auto dealership, Ocala's Palm Chevrolet, is adding layers of its own incentives on top of the fuel-cost savings inherent in the purchase of natural gas vehicles, hoping to draw more interest in transportation fueled by compressed natural gas.

Spurring the dealership to sweeten its CNG-related services is the Marion County government's intentions to continue shifting its fleet to NGVs. The county already has more than two dozen vehicles running on CNG, according to coverage from the Ocala StarBanner, and more are coming.

In turn, Palm Chevrolet approached the county commission with a menu of NGV conversion, maintenance and repair add-ons that it would offer to the county fleet. Among the special services are a discounted labor rate, after-hours service, priority service-booking and parts discounts. Jeff Isacson, Palm Chevrolet's director of fixed operations, told the StarBanner that he also sees potential for NGVs from the everyday consumer.

Florida's incentives environment for NGVs is strong. The governor signed the Florida Natural Gas Vehicle Act last summer, which brought a five-year tax-free holiday on compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas and propane autogas, as well as a rebate program for NGVs.

Palm Chevrolet currently employs one certified, licensed technician to handle NGVs. The dealership plans on hiring two additional techs by the end of this month.

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