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Financial Incentives Proposed For Alternative Fuel Vehicles

Fox Business

More vehicles traveling on Ohio's roadways could be burning cheaper and cleaner fuels, depending on the outcome of legislation in Columbus.

House Bill 336 would create several financial incentives for state agencies, public-transportation systems, private businesses and consumers to convert vehicles to run on natural gas or propane.

Sam Spofforth, executive director of Clean Fuels Ohio, said the up-front cost is a barrier for many who want to make these conversions.

"Once the vehicles can be acquired, the fuel is so much less expensive that taxpayers and companies can save a lot of money," Spofforth said. "That translates to jobs; it also translates to better service. So, it's really good for Ohio's economy, it's good for our environment."

Natural gas and propane are typically more than 25 percent cheaper than petroleum-based fuels. The measure also creates a $500 tax credit for the purchase of electric vehicles. Spofforth said the incentives are meant to be a temporary support and expire after five years.

HB 336 passed the House unanimously and is in a Senate committee.

Spofforth said some concerns have been raised by those who don't agree with tax incentives in general, as they reduce state revenue. However, he called the incentives "modest" and believes that without them Ohio is at a competitive disadvantage.

"When you look at our neighboring states like Indiana, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and others, all of them have some pretty decent incentives to encourage fleets and individuals to transition towards natural gas and propane vehicles," Spofforth added.

Propane is nontoxic and presents no to threat to soil, surface, and ground water, Spofforth said. Natural gas is a lower-carbon fuel, and Spofforth said its use offers environmental, energy security and economic benefits.

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