HB 1324, a bill aimed at increasing natural-gas vehicles and fueling stations in Indiana, passed the Indiana House of Representatives (99-1) and the Senate (49-1) on April 26.

The bill allows for an increase from 10% to 20% for the amount State agencies can pay for alternative fuel vehicles over the cost of a traditionally fueled vehicle. State agencies would be required to purchase or lease a clean energy vehicle as long as the price does not surpass the price of a non-clean energy vehicle by 20%.

Greater Indiana Clean Cities Coalition Executive Director Kellie Walsh expects to see an opportunity for CNG station development due to the increased demand the bill would create. According to Walsh, municipal fleets are currently unable to justify building more stations because of the lack of volume.

Weight restrictions for vehicles are also lifted under the bill, which allows for an extra 2,000 lbs. to the maximum weight limitation for a vehicle that uses natural gas as a motor fuel.

Other features of the bill include a $15,000 tax credit for natural gas class 8 vehicles purchased in Indiana and  an income tax credit for natural gas powered vehicles weighing at least 33,000 lbs.

“Indiana has saved more than $2 million in the first 18 months of its alternative fuel vehicle program,” said State Representative Randy Frye (R-Greensburg), author of HB 1324. “We hope to make that number much higher by providing fueling stations across Indiana.”

As part of its alternative fuel project, the Indiana DOT has invested in converting to natural gas and propane-fueled equipment for its fleet.

The bill is still pending a signature from Gov. Mike Pence. It would be effective July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2016.

Click here for a copy of the bill.

*Update: Governor Pence signed the bill into law on May 11.

By Kirsti Correa