The next batch of buses is expected to have CNG installed right from the factory. This new conversion, which uses only natural gas, is “more proven technology”, according to TPS speaker Ottway Burkhalter, and will cost US$27,000 for every bus.
The school district estimates more than US$750,000 annual savings once the fleet is fully converted. “A dollar a gallon of compressed natural gas compared to diesel costs, that’s a considerable saving,” Burkhalter said.
In turn, House Speaker Chris Benge praised the initiative and explained: “In recent years we have placed much focus on making the transition to lower-cost, locally produced alternative fuels feasible for both citizens and businesses, and I am pleased that our local schools will realize savings as result of those efforts. This is just one more sign that Oklahoma is becoming a national leader in alternative energy.”
It is worth recalling that in 2009 Benge introduced an extension and expansion of a tax credit toward the purchase or conversion of a CNG vehicle. The law provides for a 50 percent tax credit for originally-equipped and converted qualified clean-burning motor vehicles.