In an effort to improve air quality, increase efficiency, and utilize the states’ abundant natural gas resources, the Texas Department of Transportation has launched a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Pilot Program in which the agency will test alternative fuel vehicles to perform daily operations. Traditionally, natural gas vehicles cost about 40 percent less to refuel than gasoline vehicles, emit up to 90 percent fewer greenhouse gases, and in many cases, cost less to maintain, according to natural gas experts.
“As an agency with one of the largest fleets and most miles traveled, it’s incumbent upon TxDOT to find more efficient ways to do business, yet still provide Texans with exceptional service,” said Texas Transportation Commissioner Bill Meadows. “Natural gas is an abundant resource in the Lone Star State that has enormous potential for our state’s future. I applaud TxDOT and the natural gas industry for coming together on this project.”
The pilot program, which will begin with the purchase of four CNG Ford F250 trucks, is designed to help TxDOT leaders determine availability of natural gas vehicles and fuel stations, and whether operationally, a fleet powered by natural gas meets the agency’s needs.
Clean Energy, the largest provider of natural gas fuel for transportation in North America and a global leader in the expanding natural gas vehicle fueling market says this is a positive step for all citizens.
“We would like to congratulate TxDOT on moving forward with a fuel produced in Texas,” said James S. Ramsey III, Clean Energy senior business development manager. “It takes this kind of leadership to break America from its addiction to imported oil.”
TxDOT will test the new natural gas trucks in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex where cities like Irving support alternative fuel options.
“I would like to thank and congratulate TxDOT for their efforts in using alternative fuels, including natural gas, and taking measures to reduce emissions thus helping to improve air quality,” said Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne. “The City of Irving is a leader in environmental stewardship, which includes an alternatively fueled fleet, solar paneled LED street lights, electric vehicle charging stations and LEED certified buildings. I look forward to the continuation of Irving’s working relationship with TxDOT and our focus on enhancing the quality of life for Irving’s residents, visitors and businesses.”
Once the pilot has concluded, TxDOT will evaluate the success of the program and determine if additional natural gas vehicles will be purchased.