NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR – The City of North Little Rock, Ark., recently added 13 compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles to its fleet, including nine Chevrolet Tahoe police vehicles, according to Clean Cities.

The patrol vehicles were converted to CNG operation with help from the CNG Conversion Rebate Program, run by the Arkansas Clean Cities (ACC) coalition, housed in the Arkansas Energy Office.

The vehicle conversions each cost about $12,000, and North Little Rock received $77,048 in State Energy Program Recovery Act funds to help foot the bill. “We would not have been able to afford conversion costs without the rebates,” said Nathan Hamilton, the city’s director of special projects. The police have been pleased so far with the Tahoes’ responsiveness, and the city is happy because CNG saves it about $2 per gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) in fuel costs.

“North Little Rock has been a community leader for alternative fuels in general,” ACC Coordinator Kelly Volin said. And by switching about 5% of its police fleet to CNG, the city has taken another important step in reducing petroleum use.

In August 2011, the municipality opened a CNG fueling station, the first publicly owned CNG station in the state. Currently, the City is able to sell the fuel for $1.44 per GGE. Statewide, there are now three public and two private CNG stations, with two more scheduled to open in the near future, including one across the river in Little Rock. “North Little Rock has jump-started the use of alternative fuels here,” Volin said.

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