Fuel at 39 cents per gallon?!
Hardworking Trucks confirmed this afternoon that a 7-Eleven in Oklahoma is selling compressed natural gas at 39 cents per gas gallon equivalent (per gge).
The news comes as AAA reports today that for the first time since March 2009, average U.S. gas prices dropped below $2 per gallon.
Still, it’s CNG stations that are making bigger headlines as they cut prices to reflect a recently extended federal alternative fuel tax credit.
However, as CNG stations continue to open across the country and their prices drop, some fuel-related websites apparently aren’t keeping up with the latest changes and are posting inaccurate prices and station information.
In the meantime, fleets and some personal CNG vehicles are gaining an edge on their gasoline-fueled counterparts.
A public fueling station in Clearwater, Florida is offering CNG at $1.17 per gas gallon equivalent (per gge), a 26 percent drop from its previous price of $1.47, according to tbnweekly.com.
Clearwater Gas System credits the drop to the renewed fuel tax credit, which will expire at the end of the year. Though the station is open to the public, it’s mostly fleets from Waste Pro, Verizon, Clearwater’s Solid Waste, Gas and Parks and Recreation departments and Jolley Trolley that use the station.
The Pueblo Chieftain reports that prices at southern Colorado’s only CNG station dropped from $1.99 to $1.49 last week. Sparq Natural Gas in Pueblo serves mostly local and state fleet trucks. The public station was opened in October through an alternative fuel grant from the state and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Oklahoma, Virginia, Arkansas, Oregon and South Carolina top the list for the lowest CNG prices, according to cng.now. However, it’s unclear if those price averages reflect current data.
The website has not updated a chart that compares CNG prices to diesel and gas. The current U.S. average price for CNG is listed as $2.10 per gge, while prices per gallon for diesel and gas are $3.89 and $3.11 respectively.
A visit to a CNG station pricing map at cngprices.com is impressive. The map reveals several stations selling CNG below $1 per gge.
The best price posted is 60 cents per gge, but unfortunately it’s not true. In New Mexicio, the City of Socorro CNG station is located along Interstate 25 about 80 miles south of Albuquerque. Hardworking Trucks called the city to confirm cngprices.com’s posted price of 60 cents per gge and was told that it’s actually $1 per gge.
“The city uses CNG in some of our vehicles,” said Ruby Lopez, Socorro’s general ledger clerk. Those vehicles include trucks, a large passenger van and police cars.
Lopez said she’s not sure why cngprices.com is posting the wrong price, which the website states on its homepage is the best deal in the nation.
Hard Working Trucks called 7-Eleven in Moore, Ok. to confirm if the station was selling CNG at 89 cents per gge as posted on cngprices.com. As it turns out, the price dropped to 39 cents per gge a few days ago, according to the store’s clerk.
In a flyer posted on its door and featured on kfor.com, 7-Eleven explains to its customers in Moore that it’s upset with the federal government for having awarded hefty rebates to fueling stations that sold CNG during 2015.
“So far we have just one CNG station with others under construction, but it’s a lot of money, and we did nothing to earn it. It belongs to the taxpayers,” the 7-Eleven flyer reads in part. “Since it’s not possible for us to give the money back to every federal taxpayer, we have decided to lower our CNG price 50 cents per gallon until all the money is used up.”
As of tonight, cngprices.com has not responded to emailed questions from Hardworking Trucks regarding its posted prices.
Another CNG-related website, poweredbycng.com, does not include Sparq Natural Gas on its list of publicly available CNG stations in Colorado.
However, Sparq, located along Interstate 25, is listed on a CNG station map available at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center website. Colorado uses hundreds of CNG trucks throughout the state.
The Alternative Fuels Data Center website reports that CNG fuel prices, on average, have remained lower than other auto fuels over a 15 year timeframe that ends in December. It reports that there are 901 public CNG stations in the U.S.
Though CNG vehicles are lauded by clean air advocates for emitting fewer emissions, they’re more expensive than their gasoline counterparts and have a shorter driving range. CNG stations can be difficult to find and mechanics who work on the vehicles have to undergo additional training.