WICHITA, Kansas - Community leaders are celebrating the opening of the first public natural gas fueling station for vehicles in Wichita.
A ceremony marking the grand opening was held Thursday at the facility at 2950 Ohio St., just off Interstate 135 in north-central Wichita.
The event was hosted by CNG Services, the company that operates the facility.
Sean O'Neill is operation manager for CNG services.
His company installed the pump.
"And it's really no different than what you would do with a conventional fuel. It's just a little different with how you work the nozzle," said O'Neill.
CNG is is working with cities across the state to sign up anyone they can as a partner.
But there is a cost associated with fueling up with CNG instead of gas.
"We convert both in-service and new vehicles to run on natural gas. We do light duty vehicles, medium duty vehicles, and heavy duty vehicles. There's about 150 models that we can convert," said Ken Lukefahr, CNG Conversion.
It does cost in the ballpark of $9,000 depending on the make and model of vehicle, but if you want fuel savings over the long haul.
Right now, gas costs $3.50, but for CNG it is $2.
Along with a lower cost, there is the green factor. CNG is widely considered clean.
"CNG as a fuel is the simplest hydrocarbon available. Very clean. The CO2 levels are much lower than any conventional fuel," said O'Neill.
Sean says his company is working long-term to kick-start CNG across the state and says the station in Wichita is a good first step.
Oklahoma is one of the states with thousands of CNG vehicles on the road because of state and federal tax breaks.
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