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Oklahoma Honda dealer offering CNG discount to state employees

Tulsa's Don Carlton Honda is making compressed natural gas-fueled Honda Civics available to state employees at the same discounted price the state gets as it add more of the alternative fuel to its vehicle fleet.
BY JAY F. MARKS Published: March 15, 2013

Oklahoma teamed with 22 other states to get the best possible price on vehicles fueled by compressed natural gas. Now, a Honda dealership in Tulsa is passing those savings on to state employees.

Michelle Williams, specialty accounts manager at Don Carlton Honda, said the offer should help compressed natural gas gain more traction as an alternative fuel to gasoline.

“The more of these we can get out there on a retail basis, the more platforms that will come, the more infrastructure that will come,” Williams said.

Honda produces the only dedicated CNG vehicle available in the United States, the Civic Natural Gas. It retails for $27,000, or about $5,500 more than the comparable gasoline-powered model.

Williams said available rebates, tax credits and the state bid price help narrow the gap for those on Oklahoma's payroll. Zero percent financing is available as well.

Jay Albert, the state's deputy energy secretary, said he had thinking about trading in his Toyota Prius hybrid for a CNG Civic for a few months because of the potential savings afforded by the tax credit and $1,000 rebate funded by Oklahoma Natural Gas. The ability to buy at the state bid price sealed the deal for him.

“The fact that they're making it available to all the state employees is a great thing,” he said.

Albert said he figures he spends about 7 cents a mile to drive his Prius. He will be able to cut that figure by about two-thirds when he starts driving on CNG.

“The cost savings are pretty incredible,” he said.

Albert said he recently drove to Little Rock in a state-owned CNG Civic, using only a single tank of gas. It cost $8.77.

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