Oklahoma, 20 other states seek bids for CNG vehicles

Oklahoma and 20 other states sent proposals Tuesday to 19 auto manufacturers seeking bids to produce “affordable and functional” compressed natural gas vehicles for use in state automobile fleets.

The requests were sent a week after Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper met with the Big Three automaker executives in Detroit. Fallin, who with Hickenlooper pitched the idea last fall, said she was encouraged by the reception they received at all three, but none has a general-purpose CNG model in production.

The request for proposals seeks bids on CNG-powered compact and midsize cars, four-wheel-drive pickups and cargo vans. The closing date for the bids is Sept. 7; a solicitation overview meeting is scheduled Aug. 8 at the Oklahoma History Center.

“Through the RFP process, we hope to solicit bids on the production of affordable and functional CNG-fueled vehicles for use in state automobile fleets,” Fallin said. “By incorporating more CNG vehicles into our state fleets, we can save tax dollars by reducing the amount we spend on fuel. We can also support the use of American-made energy that will help create jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”

Last week, Fallin and Hickenlooper met with executives from Chrysler, General Motors and Ford and spoke by telephone with executives from Honda America.

“The objective behind our talks with automakers in the United States was simple,” Fallin said. “We pressed upon them that the states mean business and are strongly committed to the use of CNG vehicles in state fleets so more vehicles can become available to consumers.”

Fallin, a Republican, and Hickenlooper, a Democrat, told auto executives that using CNG vehicles in state fleets can help break through the barriers — namely limited fueling infrastructure and limited consumer demand — that may be holding back automakers from producing a wider variety of CNG vehicles.​

This article was first published by NewsOK.

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