The Pryor Times

State News

August 4, 2012

States solicit bids for CNG vehicles

Pryor, OK — OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma and 20 other states today released a Request for Proposal to auto manufacturers in the United States asking them to produce affordable and functional compressed natural gas vehicles for use in state automobile fleets.

 The RFP is the culmination of a multistate, bipartisan initiative first announced in November by Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.  Thirteen states signed the original Memorandum of Understanding stating their intention to purchase CNG vehicles for use in state fleets.  In addition to those 13 states, the RFP also incorporates participation from eight additional states that have since pledged their intent to participate in the multistate RFP.  

 The states participating in the RFP include:  Oklahoma, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.

 “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.”

 The RFP was produced by the National Association of State Procurement Officials, which leverages the purchasing power of states by aggregating purchases on a variety of products.   

In July, Govs. Fallin and Hickenlooper traveled to Detroit to visit with executives from Chrysler, GM and Ford about this initiative.  Additionally, the governors spoke via phone 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.”

 Additionally, Fallin said, she and Hickenlooper delivered the message 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 the automakers back from producing a wider variety of CNG vehicles.

 “Consumer demand will grow when there are more fueling options and lower price points for CNG vehicles. Similarly, the industry will build more affordable vehicles when market demand increases,” Fallin said.  

“Through this initiative, the states have the power to break this ‘chicken and egg’ scenario by purchasing CNG vehicles for state automobile fleets.  This will help create an incentive to develop more CNG fueling stations and provide the scale that will allow manufacturers to produce an affordable and functional product for both state and local governments as well as families.”

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