The governors of Oklahoma and Colorado said more than 100 bids from dealers in 28 states have come in as part of a 22-state effort to get bids from the auto industry to supply natural gas vehicles (NGV) for government fleets in each of the states.

The preliminary results were made by Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper at Fallin’s Governor’s Energy Conference Thursday in Oklahoma City. A year ago they launched a multi-state effort on NGVs (see Daily GPI, Nov. 10, 2011).

More complete bid details will be released Friday morning, they said, but Fallin and Hickenlooper provided some initial color, saying that at least four major manufacturers — Chrysler, Ford, General Motors and Honda — are involved in the bids.

Fallin said that as a result of the multi-state request for proposals (RFP) she expects her state to see cost reductions and operating savings on three-quarter-ton pickups and vans, one-ton vans, cargo vans and compact sedans, all powered by compressed natural gas (CNG). The expected savings range from 4% to 16% on purchase prices and $1,200 to $5,800/vehicle in annual operating savings.

“Additionally, states will now have the opportunity to purchase at least one model truck with improvements in functionality,” said Fallin, citing a pickup truck with a CNG fuel tank underneath the vehicle rather than in the truck bed.

The Oklahoma governor called the effort “enormously successful,” noting that the auto industry apparently is responding with trucks that are “more affordable and functional.”

“With the combined purchasing power of our 22 states, we successfully provided the incentive to do so,” Fallin said. “States will now have the incentive and ability to begin converting their fleets to CNG while saving millions of dollars in taxpayer money.”

Hickenlooper called the RFP “a major success for CNG and even more importantly for our economy.”

The effort should result in lower government costs and the creation of more American jobs, Fallin said.

In August, at the urging of Fallin and Hickenlooper, U.S. auto manufacturers came to Oklahoma to learn more about the RFP (see Daily GPI, Aug. 10). All of the states have indicated an interest in purchasing NGVs.

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