Natural-gas station is available in Perry
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
PERRY, Box Elder County — Utah continues to lead the nation in the number of natural-gas vehicles, and now there's one more place to fill up.
Utah has more than 60 private and public natural gas fueling stations. Per capita, that's about five times the number of stations in California, another leading state in alternative fuels, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Utah has some of the cheapest natural gas fuel rates in the country because of vast local resources and state regulation, said Robin Erickson, director of Utah Clean Cities Coalition.
Questar Gas supplies the fueling stations the same way it provides gas to homes as a utility.
In California, natural gas can run around $2.50 an equivalent gallon, said Alan Allred, president and CEO of Questar Gas. In Utah, however, Questar passes the savings from federal alternative fuel incentives on to the consumer, he said.
"It's been a long, hard road to get to this point in the natural gas vehicle market," he said.
But now that natural gas fueling stations are conveniently located throughout the state, the vehicle market is trying to catch up, Allred said. "We've never seen such a demand for natural gas vehicles, and the (gasoline) prices have a lot to do with that," he said.
Normally, Questar's fleet of vehicles runs entirely on natural gas, Allred said. But because such manufacturers as Ford and GM have stopped making dedicated natural-gas vehicles, he has been forced to purchase some that run on gasoline. He said used natural-gas vehicles from across the county find their way to Utah because of high demand here. Even local companies have started to build their businesses around natural-gas technologies.
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