PUBLIC FLEET BEGINS CONVERTING TO CNG IN WEST VIRGINIA

This week, Kanawha County, West Virginia, converted the first of its public fleet vehicles. Matt Thomas, who is in charge of special projects for the Kanawha County Commission, purchased and converted a 2013 Chevy Tahoe to run on CNG. The new Tahoe cost $30,000, and the conversion kit and its installation an additional $12,000. Thomas anticipates the cheaper cost of fuel will pay back the cost of conversion. The Tahoe has been assigned to the Emergency Services Director as a test vehicle. Two other Kanawha County agencies are also looking to CNG. The Kanawha Valley Regional Transportation Authority has committed to the purchase of eight new CNG buses using a $2 million federal grant. The grant was awarded as part of FTA’s FY 2012 State of Good Repair, Bus Livability, and Transit Asset Management Projects. County Commission President Kent Carper has also said that he would like to convert some of the Sheriff’s Department vehicles to CNG. There are currently no local CNG fueling stations, but the Commission is working with the Charleston Area Alliance and other agencies to encourage the construction of a station. They can guarantee any interested developer the fueling contracts for government vehicles.