NORMAN — It’s only fitting that Oklahoma should be a national leader in Compressed Natural Gas technology, fueling stations and support of CNG-powered vehicles. The city’s first, public refueling station, open since January, was dedicated Friday morning on Goddard Avenue, just west of Flood Avenue.
City officials hope Norman schools, the county and other entities make use of the technology and the station. The city formerly filled its vehicles at the CART bus station on the OU South Campus and at the ONG facility on Berry Road. Those will remain as backup stations.
The new station was built with a combination of public funding sources and is believed to be the first of its kind in the state. The station cost $2.159 million. Constructed primarily for city-owned vehicles, it will also serve drivers whose vehicles are CNG powered.
There’s a few of those out there. We look for more down the road as gasoline prices spike upward of $4 per gallon. The pump price last week for CNG was $1.70 per gallon.
Converting vehicles costs thousands of dollars, but a few manufacturers are sensing the market and building CNG powered cars and trucks.
The new fill station is expected to save taxpayers $850,000 to $1,285,000 over the next five years.
There are other benefits, too. CNG-powered vehicles have reduced air emissions, emit little or no particulate matter and have reduced noise levels.