CNG vehicles cost more than standard gas vehicles, the difference for light trucks is similar to the cost difference between a gasoline truck and a diesel truck; about $10,000. Our light trucks will be dual fuel so they can run on either CNG or gasoline so having both options is part of the cost difference, the other part of the cost difference is that CNG vehicles are a small part of the market so they don’t benefit from market competition the same way gasoline vehicles do yet.
Fuel cost savings over the life of the vehicle can offset the cost of the vehicle or conversion to CNG depending on fuel efficiency of the vehicle and miles driven. Heavy vehicles that use a lot of fuel will see the best savings. CNG retail fuel averages about $2.09/ per gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE). Fleets that are willing to sign multi-year fuel use contracts have the opportunity to negotiate that price lower and lock it in long-term. With the CNG fuel rate Gunnison County has contracted, our vehicles will pay back the initial upgrade cost in 5 years if gas prices stay at rates they are now and faster if gas prices rise. CNG cost is very stable unlike gasoline, the chart at http://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/prices.html illustrates fuel costs over the last decade.