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UW Extension Vehicle Will Run on Compressed Natural Gas, Gasoline

October 10, 2012

University of Wyoming Extension has received a $13,000 grant from Encana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc. to convert a 2012 Ford F-150 to a bi-fuel vehicle, which uses compressed natural gas (CNG) or gasoline.

“Natural gas used for transportation is clean -- producing fewer emissions than gasoline -- is safe and reliable, is largely abundant and at current prices CNG costs up to $2 less per gallon than gasoline,” says Randy Teeuwen, Encana USA community relations adviser. “They also have the same mileage and power as gas vehicles.”

He says Encana has converted 14 percent of its Wyoming fleet to CNG, with plans to convert entirely within about three years.

“We are focused on supporting natural gas as a transportation fuel of choice, and we are happy to provide this conversion for UW Extension,” Teeuwen says.

The vehicle, owned by UW Extension, will be used by an associate director and be visible statewide, but will spend the most time around Laramie, along the I-80 corridor, in western Wyoming such as Sweetwater, Fremont and Big Horn counties and areas east of the Idaho/Utah border, says Glen Whipple, UW Extension director.

“Natural gas is a plentiful fuel with great potential to reduce the nation’s reliance on imported oil,” Whipple says. “It makes sense that Wyoming, a state where natural gas production is a critical economic contributor, would be a leader in the use of CNG as a motor fuel.”

UW Extension has offices staffed with educators and specialists on the UW campus, in all 23 Wyoming counties and on the Wind River Indian Reservation. Extension maintains a fleet of 31 trucks, SUVs and sedans.

 “The conversion will allow us to test and evaluate the possible cost savings and efficiencies for CNG-capable vehicles in our fleet,” Whipple says. “With CNG fueling stations either in service or planned throughout Wyoming in the near future, the time is right to put a CNG-capable vehicle in service.”

Recently, Encana USA opened a CNG station in Riverton at the Pit Stop on South Federal Boulevard and the Pinedale station is in use with a grand opening slated for early November, according to Encana. Fueling infrastructures are also planned to open in Rock Springs later this month, and the Wyoming Legislature approved a station for Laramie to open in 2013.

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