The US state of Arkansas’s Energy Office has received such a positive response to its Compressed Natural Gas Conversion rebate program that it has expanded eligibility, reports The City Wire. The rebate program, made possible with $2.2 million funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), was originally only available to vehicle fleets (light, medium and heavy-duty vehicles, traditional mass transit buses, and school buses). Now the program will include all Arkansas licensed vehicles eligible for conversion.
Arkansas Oklahoma Gas (AOG), which opened the state’s first CNG filling station and had been operating CNG vehicles for more than 30 years, has pointed out that current CNG prices, at a gasoline gallon equivalent of $1.07, compare very favourably with the gasoline price of $3.50 gallon, providing an annualised cost saving of several thousands of dollars and the incentive for conversion.
Rebates of 50 percent of the conversion cost or the incremental cost of purchasing new CNG vehicles would be given directly to fleet operators following the conversion to, or purchase of, compressed natural gas vehicles. Rebate amounts depend on the cost of conversion or incremental cost of a CNG vehicle, but rebates cannot exceed $25,000. To ensure rebates are available for multiple fleets, no single entity may receive more than 20 percent of the CNG rebate fund.
“From input we’ve received over the past few months, Arkansans have a lot of interest in CNG, particularly converting their individual vehicles,” Scott Hamilton, director of the Arkansas Energy Office, said in a statement.
There are currently three stations in Arkansas, two at Fort Smith where AOG is located, and the other in Arkoma.