Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and officials from the state's Department of Transportation (ODOT) have unveiled the first compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles – 160 of them – that are joining the state fleet.
Intended for use among ODOT field division offices, the natural gas vehicles (NGVs) include 156 new Â¾- ton Ram pickup trucks from the Chrysler Group. These trucks are anticipated to be delivered in January. The agency also has four Honda Civics.
“As we see more state agencies replace traditional fuel vehicles with CNG vehicles, the costs savings for taxpayers will be significant,” Fallin said.
The new CNG vehicles have been acquired at a cost of approximately $5 million, and each one is expected to save approximately $20,000 in fuel and maintenance costs over the life of the vehicle. Plans call for more than 90% of the ODOT's and Oklahoma Turnpike Authority's fleet vehicles to be shifted to CNG vehicles in the next three years.
Fallin has been spearheading a coalition of 22 states that are seeking to use more CNG vehicles in their state fleets and, in turn, use their collective purchasing power to drive down costs.