Luber said the 3M tank is supposed to be about 10 percent cheaper than standard tanks, taking $400 to $500 off the conversion price.
Chesapeake likely will be the first customer for the 3M tanks at OEM, he said.
OEM has a prototype now, with the first shipment of eight to 10 tanks expected in the next week or so.
Chesapeake has been working to convert its 5,000-vehicle fleet to CNG.
“The fuel tank has been the most expensive single component on a CNG vehicle, causing a bottleneck for the market,” said Nathan Pumphrey, Chesapeake's director of fleet operations. “3M's tank portfolio will lower the total cost of natural gas vehicle ownership and speed market adoption.
“We look forward to incorporating these tanks into our fleet vehicles to save money on our conversions; and with CNG available for as little as 99 cents per gasoline gallon equivalent in some markets, we'll cut our fueling costs, too.”
3M also is working with transportation providers that carry its products to use CNG.