EUGENE, Ore. — A first of its kind fueling station opened to the public Wednesday, and is hoping to speed up a driving revolution.
The compressed natural gas station in Eugene is the first in all of Oregon.
Cars that run on compressed natural gas fueled up at Travelcard Commercial Fueling at 65 N Seneca Road for the first time Wednesday.
While the gas pumps there don’t look out of the ordinary, the gas coming out of the pumps and into cars is expected to be better for the environment and drivers’ wallets.
John Anderson and his family have been working to bring compressed natural gas to community members for the past four years.
“We realized several years ago that natural gas is in abundance domestically, and it is probably the best alternative fuel available to us at this point in time,” said John Anderson, owner of Eugene Truck Haven.
But before opening the station, they needed to find a customer base, which didn’t exist in the area because the cars need this gas to run.
“We had to make a great leap of faith to actually build a facility so that there is fuel available to our customers,” Anderson said. “Now that we’ve done that, there’s been a great response from our customers saying: ‘How do I apply it to my operation?’”
Natural gas industry leaders gathered at the station Wednesday to discuss the future of this type of gasoline and how it can help the environment while helping drivers save money at the pump.
“You’re contributing to our state’s clean energy infrastructure, so more consumers are going to have access to this cleaner burning sources of power,” said Brad Avakian, Oregon Labor Commissioner.
The running price for this compressed gas right now is $2.29 a gallon, about half the price of regular gasoline.
So as the station expects more and more people to convert their cars to run on this gas, state leaders are hopeful it’ll help keep our air clear of pollutants.
“Reduce ozone emissions by about 90 percent compared to traditional fossil fuels greater use of CNG is going to mean cleaner air for our communities and around the state,” Avakian said.
Regular engines can run with this type of gas. Cars just need to have a converted fuel tank installed, which costs about $3,000.
There are 705 CNG stations in the country.