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Utah Clean Fuel Tax Credit - On The Chopping Block Again

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  • Utah Clean Fuel Tax Credit - On The Chopping Block Again

    House Bill 106 is aiming to reduce the CLEAN FUEL TAX CREDIT down from $3000 to $1000. In fact, it is more aimed at fuel economy than alternative fuels. All of the following requirements would meet the tax credit:
    31 MPG on gasoline
    36 MPG on diesel
    19 MPG on E85
    19 MPG on propane
    26 MPG on CNG

    The tax credit for a conversion would remain the same($2500).

    Please email or call your local state representative (both in the house and the senate) and tell them to vote NO on HB 106. Below is a link to this bill. I have also included this bill as an attachment.

    Attached Files
    Mountain Green, Utah
    2003 CNG Cavalier
    2003 CNG Silverado 2500HD

  • #2
    Re: Clean Fuel Tax Credit - On The Chopping Block Again

    This just passed the committee today. It is going to the House. Please contact your representative. This tax credit will only apply to NEW vehicles. The only CNG vehicle available is the Civic GX. Get the word out.
    Mountain Green, Utah
    2003 CNG Cavalier
    2003 CNG Silverado 2500HD


    • #3
      Re: Clean Fuel Tax Credit - On The Chopping Block Again

      Good catch, Jared!

      Edited to add:
      Again, this bill would eliminate credits for used NGVs. No more bringing in NGVs to Utah and taking 1/2 the incremental cost up to $3,000. There would only be a $1,000 credit for new vehicles and keep the $2,500 for conversions.

      So what do you all think? Is it right for someone to bring in an old $1,000 NGV jalopy to Utah and get up to $3,000 in tax credits? Or, should limited tax funds be used to clean the air in other ways, such as smaller credits on a wider range of new low-emission vehicles?

      Links to find your representative and senator are here:

      Here is what I wrote to mine this morning (we already have a dialogue going)

      Thank you for your continued interested in clean fuels and our air quality.
      Please vote NO on HB 106. While the concept is sound the bill suffers from the following:

      1. It eliminates the incentive for OEM vehicle manufacturers to produce vehicles which run on clean fuels such as Natural Gas. Detroit has abandoned natural gas, propane and electric in favor of dirty E85 and hybrid vehicles (which still burn gasoline to pollute our air).

      2. Providing $1,000 for a vehicle which gets 19 MPG on E85 (ethanol) is going to be a disaster. All of the E85 "flex-fuel" vehicles on the road and in showrooms can also burn gasoline and most of them would qualify under the bill's 19 MPG standard. With only a few pumps in the state who is going to run E85? We are going to throw $1,000 at consumers to buy gasoline-burning smog-forming vehicles.

      Edited to add:

      I looked up E85 MPG numbers at and it seems there are no vehicles that would qualify. Jeez I had no idea E85 got such terrible mileage!


      • #4
        Re: Clean Fuel Tax Credit - On The Chopping Block Again

        If I understand your statement about "bringing $1000 jalopys into Utah to claim the $3000 tax credit", you are against people getting the credit for a vehicle brought into the state , I assume mostly for the fact that they would in theory make $2000 on the deal.)

        I would have to disagree to some part about the "$1000 dollar jalopy" idea, actually, it sounds a little elitist to me. (I'm guilty, too. I don't consider anything other than a diesel a real truck). However, to those who may not be quite able to justify the $20,000+ price of a new GX, the $3000 credit may allow them to replace several older gas "jalopies" with CNG jalopies. I just bought a 2001 F150 4X4 bi-fuel from the bay area I am working on getting registered. I paid $5400 for it, expect to put about $1500 into getting a few things fixed on it and getting it registered. The tax credit was a definite incentive to me. It will combine the economy of the Geo Metro I commute in and the hauling capacity the of the Dodge Cummins into one vehicle replacing the other two. After all, isn't clean air the basic premise of the incentive? Because of the incentive, I am hoping to get my wife to replace her newer Camry as well.

        The price of a new Honda GX, while certainly not out of line, is more than the price of the three CNG F150's my son's and I have bought which each of us will now commute in, plus fuel for a few years with the tax credits. These three trucks will replace a Prism, a Chevy 2500 diesel, a 250 Dodge diesel, an Accura, and a Metro. Granted, the $3000 credit may not have been the only motivation, but it helps.

        Maybe the credit should be limited to a ratio of the original incremental cost compared to the current purchase price. That way, those opting for the new GX would have a more equitible credit than those purchasing the "$1000 Jalopy".

        Incidently, where in this country is there a $1000 CNG jalopy? I just might be able to get my wife out of her Camry.

        Great forum!! Keep up the good work.

        Max Blair
        Kaysville, Ut



        • #5
          Re: Clean Fuel Tax Credit - On The Chopping Block Again

          Both John and Max have good points on the issue. I know that Questar is opposed to the bill and for two reasons (from what I can see).

          First, reducing the tax credit down from $3000 to $1000 essentially knocks off the "icing in the cake" for buying a new Civc GX. Someone could look at it like that $2000 would buy a lot of gasoline.

          Second, only allowing new vehicle purchases the tax credit would greatly reduce the buying and selling of used CNG vehicles into the state. This in turn would "stall" the consumption of natural gas at the pumps.

          I think that Questar is more concerned about the first issue than the second issue. Wouldn't we all like to see newer, cleaner vehicles on the road. Plus, I've heard that the "jalopy's" emissions are similar to gasoline emissions. Now, I don't know if that is true. Maybe someone else could elaberate on that.

          I think we ought to make a big push to get more NEW vehicles running on CNG. We ought to push the big three (Chevy, Ford, Dodge).
          Mountain Green, Utah
          2003 CNG Cavalier
          2003 CNG Silverado 2500HD


          • #6
            Re: Clean Fuel Tax Credit - On The Chopping Block Again

            Another thought...

            Reading the current Clean Fuel Tax Credit bill, it seems to me that the bill was written to reduce the pollution from vehicles. Hence the name "Clean Fuel".

            Now, reading House Bill 106, it seems that this bill was written from a fuel economy point of view and not a "Clean Fuel" point of view.

            Certianly increasing the fuel economy of all vehicles would reduce the pollution from the vehicles, but I think that burning a cleaner fuel (like CNG) would have a greater effect on cleaning the air in Utah. I am more upset that they are including gasoline & E85 vehicles in this bill than anything else. Why would somebody buy a Civc GX when they can buy a Civic LX (which gets over 31 MPG) and get the same tax credit?
            Mountain Green, Utah
            2003 CNG Cavalier
            2003 CNG Silverado 2500HD


            • #7
              Re: Clean Fuel Tax Credit - On The Chopping Block Again

              Folks, we are running out of time on this. I understand the House will be voting on this first thing tomorrow morning (Feb 1st).

              Find your representative and senator are here and then let them know your thoughts!


              • #8
                Re: Clean Fuel Tax Credit - On The Chopping Block Again

                Thanks John for this information. I contacted my representatives


                • #9
                  Re: Clean Fuel Tax Credit - On The Chopping Block Again

                  Thank you guys for alerting us to these bills. I wrote a letter which you can copy if you would like:

                  Dear Representitive,

                  Please vote no on house bill 106. This bill discourages the use of vehicles which burn clean burning CNG (compressed natural gas) by lowering the tax credit on these vehicles and eliminating the credit on used vehicles.

                  Due to the cost of the CNG components, most CNG vehicles have a price premium over their gasoline powered versions. The tax credit on used cars allows people to purchase a car which is better for the environment and the economy that they might not have been able to afford otherwise.

                  Natural gas vehicles (NGVs) run on a domestic fuel that is largely produced within Utah and Wyoming. Every gallon of Natural Gas burned in a vehicle is one less gallon of gasoline that our nation has to buy from a foreign country.

                  In addition to the benefit of using a domestically produced fuel, natural gas vehicles cause less pollution than hybrids or e-85 powered vehicles. The Honda Civic GX has been named the cleanest internal combustion motor in the world by the EPA and has been called America's cleanest car. More info can be found at

                  In addition, I ask you to please vote yes on house bill 103. This bill will allow individuals who drive CNG vehicles to refuel at more locations. This would advantages to drivers of NGVs and would encourage even more people to drive these vehicles. Right now there are approximately 19 public filling locations for CNG. By opening more stations to the public, it becomes more convenient to drive a CNG vehicle for more people.

                  Thank you for your time,

                  Here are all the representatives emails in case you would like to send a mass email (I don't know how kosher that is):

                  [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected],


                  • #10
                    Re: Clean Fuel Tax Credit - On The Chopping Block Again

                    Got the following thoughtful e-mail today from another concerned citizen. He asked that it be freely shared (it was sent to the SL Tribune too). Enjoy!
                    Dear Representative Johnson and McGee,

                    HB 106 - Clean Air And Efficient Vehicle Tax Incentives, as I presently understand, will come before review. Please consider my helpful suggestions:

                    As a fiscal conservative, I don't believe that "feebates" are a wise use of my hard-earned tax dollars. When I purchased my compact-class Hybrid car, I recall market demand being very high. (I also didn't expect or qualify for tax incentives.) It didn't enter into my buying decision, and suspect it doesn't with most like-minded consumers. People buy vehicles for mostly all the wrong reasons. Incentives rarely work in our free enterprise market. Your well-intentioned legislation is an irresponsible use of state tax dollars.

                    The most serious flaw in this bill is that it fails to properly distinguish between the various eligible vehicle characteristics: i.e, weight class, passenger capacity, and most importantly fuel type. Apparently in an effort to make this easy, every eligible (new) vehicle will receive the same identical "feebate." A "one-size-fits-all" approach is usually a sign that, we ought to look at how others handle this issue.

                    If you must stay with incentives, I would suggest that you seriously consider the Federal (IRS) model. The federal model is more fiscally responsible, in that it rewards eligible Clean Air and Efficient Vehicles different rates, based on many characteristics, including market demand, and many other vehicle specifications, EPA ratings and even including alternative fuels. HB106 attempts to hand every qualifying vehicle the same value incentive regardless of the fuel efficiency or impact on the environment. While this makes the plan easier to administer, it potentially seems unfair and could be a potential liability.

                    Lastly, this bill just sends too many wrong messages. In this State and Great Country we need to find ways to radically lower our dependence on $90+ a barrel imported petroleum. Our local economy does effect our national security. Last time I checked, my compact-class Hybrid was still using several hundred gallons of IMPORTED petroleum-based gasoline a year. Instead, HB106 reduces incentives on brand new alternative fuel vehicles that operate on virtually no petroleum products, sourced entirely in North America. Let the marketplace be free!

                    Please reconsider you position. Vote AGAINST or REVISE HB 106.

                    Lee Shuster


                    • #11
                      Update on our battle with the legislature

                      OK, it has been a hectic couple of days but I got the following accomplished for us:
                      • E-mails went out to all of you in Utah (those of you who included your location when you registered) which totaled 116 people.
                      • Murphy (CNG Motors) and Garff Honda are also sending out e-mails to their customers so you might also get one from them if applicable.
                      • Spoke at length with our Clean Cities coordinator, Questar, Utah Dept. of Air Quality, my own Representative, and some constructive e-mail with Kevin Emerson -- the bill's co-sponsor. No reply from Roz McGee, the bill's sponsor to two of my e-mails so far (she probably thinks I am just a rebel rouser). I have also been trying to convince Utah Moms for Clean Air to reverse their position of supporting HB106.
                      The main point is that the proposed bill attempts to re-allocate funds to clean the air in a fuel and technology neutral way but completely misses the boat when it comes to the core purpose of the current incentive... which is that of rehabilitating ourselves from petroleum addiction.

                      Kevin Emerson rebutted my contention that HB106 provides no incentives for zero emissions vehicles (electric, hydrogen). While acknowledging that the bill does not explicitly provide for this he shrugged it off stating that the assumption is that as long as these vehicles meet the air quality and fuel economy standards described in the bill (as determined by the EPA's SmartWay Elite standard), they would be eligible for the $1,000 credit.

                      But the reality is that HB106 does not reference EPA SmartWay. Instead, it references 40 C.F.R. 600.209-95(d)

                      OK folks, click here to read up on 40 C.F.R. 600.209-95(d) and tell me if you think it has anything to do with what HB106 is trying to accomplish I am sticking with the message that (our interest in CNG aside) HB106 is seriously flawed in that it has no vision for displacing petroleum nor for encouraging the use of emerging zero-emission technologies. It either needs to go back to committee or die a well-deserved death.


                      • #12
                        Re: Clean Fuel Tax Credit - On The Chopping Block Again

                        Whoa, I don't read the forum for a few days and low and behold we have house bill 106.

                        Thanks to all that put in their time and effort into preserving the tax incentives for purchasing/driving an alternatively fueled vehicle.....

                        I just wrote my rep, Jim Bird, here in West Jordan.....
                        Last edited by soarhead25; 02-03-2008, 02:58 AM.


                        • #13
                          Re: Utah Clean Fuel Tax Credit - On The Chopping Block Again

                          Someone forwarded me another letter, who asked that I post it...

                          Rep Rosalind J. McGee and Christine A. Johnson:

                          My wife and I are writing to you on a personal level with some
                          suggestions for improving HB 106. We live in the _____ area with our
                          22-year-old son, who has Down syndrome. All three of us are
                          employed by the University of Utah.

                          We applaud and support your desire to improve air quality in our city
                          and state. We would like you to be more aware of the HB106-proposed
                          changes to existing law that would hurt concerned citizens who are
                          trying to make the environmentally right choices. And will be hampered
                          if your bill passes, as proposed. We urge that you amend your bill to
                          continue to provide some incentive for Utahans to purchase qualifying,
                          but used CLEAN AIR vehicles -- especially CNG and Advanced Technology

                          While families and drivers who can buy new CLEAN AIR vehicles will
                          improve the air quality, not everyone can afford the price for a $25,000
                          to $50,000+ new vehicle, or an expensive qualifying conversion.
                          Moreover, once a new CLEAN AIR vehicle is purchased in Utah, there is no
                          requirement that it stay in Utah after it is sold. If neighboring states
                          offer tax incentives for CLEAN AIR used vehicles, it could result it
                          vehicles leaving Utah. Likewise, if Utah offers some incentive for used
                          CLEAN AIR vehicles, Utahans in the used car market will more likely
                          purchase those CLEAN AIR vehicles, (perhaps from out of state) rather
                          than much dirtier, less efficient local vehicles. We live in an
                          interconnected "eBay" internet, world.

                          Please let us share our family's experience about buying used CLEAN AIR
                          vehicles to illustrate our point: Our family has supported, our son's
                          disabilities by coaching his Utah Special Olympics team and volunteering
                          with the National Ability Center, in Park City. Team trips often
                          require a larger vehicle to transport teams to games. Our National
                          Ability Center volunteering requires the ability to tow a 4000-lb boat
                          trailer to offer water ski lessons for persons with disabilities. For
                          many years, our trusty 1993 Minivan was sufficient as we improved and
                          maintained it to be capable of supporting these volunteer activities.
                          Unfortunately, it was totaled in May 2005 through no fault of ours.

                          For the first water ski season we rented (every weekend over the summer)
                          either a 15-passenger van, 4x4 pick-up truck, or SUV from Rugged
                          Rentals, as they were willing to legally allow us to tow our trailer to
                          support National Ability Center water skiing. This was both expensive
                          and frankly embarrassing from an environmental standpoint. We spent a
                          year researching alternatives that could solve our problem.

                          We spent considerable time studying the available technologies, their
                          impact on the environment, their operating costs, purchase price,
                          weight-capacity, but most importantly the vehicles impact on clean air
                          in our fair city and state. We researched NEW vehicle choices. We
                          researched CONVERSION choices (new and used). And we researched USED
                          choices. We found the trailer towing requirements to be challenging.
                          Sure an SUV or truck is the obvious choice of most Utahans, just not
                          consistent with our personal CLEAN AIR goals.

                          In short we did our homework. We ended up purchasing a used
                          dedicated-CNG vehicle. We found a used, out-of-state,
                          heavy-duty-(TAXI-package)-equipped, dedicated-CNG (natural gas vehicle),
                          a 1996 Ford Crown Victoria. that could indeed carry 6 passengers and tow
                          our trailer. It had been well maintained by the Houston Metropolitan
                          Transit Authority, and had only 63,000 miles. When we learned it had the
                          same ULTRA LOW EMISSIONS rating from the CALIFORNIA Air Resources Board
                          as our 2004 Honda Civic Hybrid, we were convinced to purchase it. It did
                          cost us about $1000 to ship the car here from Houston. We also paid a
                          premium, market-driven price to acquire a dedicated-CNG vehicle. The
                          existing Utah State tax incentive on USED Alternative Fuel Vehicles also
                          was important to us, considering our significant Minivan losses. We
                          don't feel we took advantage of any "loopholes." This vehicle is making
                          a significant contribution to clean air, yet your present bill will
                          discourage Utah families like us, from pursuing intelligent,
                          environmentally sound decisions in the future.

                          Our clean vehicle experience supports your wise, technology-neutral
                          approach. Our other vehicle is a 2004 Honda Civic Hybrid which we also
                          acquired USED with similar mileage. Purchasing this vehicle was also
                          driven by our environmentally sensitive concerns. It was not covered by
                          the existing State AFV incentives and will not be covered by your HB106
                          proposed legislation. I admire the technology neutral aspects of you
                          bill, but must disagree with it on only rewarding NEW vehicle purchases
                          and conversions. Both our vehicles share demanding ULEV
                          (California-approved) emissions ratings, (not quite up to the very
                          latest SULEV) but still very, very good considering CNG's inherently low
                          emissions characteristics and clean air advantages. We have spoken at
                          length with experts like Glade Sowards, Gordon Larsen, and Robin
                          Erickson to become better informed citizens.

                          In actual use, both vehicles exceed our expectations (and EPA mileage
                          ratings): I recently drove the Crown Victoria to St George on business,
                          averaging 26 mpg and spent $15.00 for clean, domestically sourced fuel!
                          That's about 2 cents per mile. And much cleaner than flying. I drove the
                          Civic Hybrid to Detroit and averaged 48 mpg, but it cost me 6 cents a
                          mile. Despite the Hybrid's nearly 2X MPG advantage, it costs much more
                          (3X) to operate (not to mention purchase). Also, The Honda Hybrid used
                          imported oil, the Ford used none. You'll also be pleased to know that
                          BOTH vehicles' emissions equipment are covered under extended
                          manufacturer's warranties. Both FORD and HONDA have both performed FREE
                          upgrades for us; designed to improve each vehicle's safety and emissions
                          (remember these are USED vehicles).

                          We urge you to please look at the broader impact of you legislation
                          across social-economic boundaries within our state. Not everyone will be
                          able to afford the choices your well-intended bill promotes. We've known
                          Kevin Emerson for nearly 15 years and have tried to communicate these
                          concerns. We admire all the hard work people like you, him, and Utah
                          Mom's for Clean Air have but into this effort. We ALL want to see
                          cleaner air in the State of Utah. The source of these older, but very
                          capable, environmentally friendly cars is rapidly being snatched up. Our
                          dedicated-CNG Crown Victoria (as well as similar models from Toyota, GM,
                          and Chrysler) are no longer in production as of 2004, because of our
                          misguided national policies that promote E85-Ethanol as a
                          petroleum-displacement solution. They will gradually phase out in the
                          free market and the financial impact to your bill will be minimal vs.
                          the support you gain.

                          We urge you to please not totally eliminate the valuable MERIT-BASED,
                          CLEAN AIR contribution these older, qualifying USED vehicles and their
                          enthusiastic supporters contribute and have done so for many years. We
                          suggest an amendment to HB106 that allows a PRO-RATED (based on
                          model-year) USED state tax credit. As our experience suggests,
                          technology neutrality is supported. Why not attract used HYBRIDS, CNG,
                          pure Electric Vehicles, Hydrogen whatever, that have never before been
                          registered here? We're just beginning to get national attention, why not
                          build on that instead of eliminating it?

                          Please make HB 106 better legislation, by seriously considering our
                          suggestions, designed to allow greater contributions to CLEAN AIR at a
                          level that more Utahans can justify and can afford. In our case, the
                          current law motivated us to continue supporting our son's
                          disability-related activities and contribute to CLEAN AIR in Utah. Our
                          family budget would not have allowed that same level of participation
                          without the incentives, your bill removes. Please don't discourage Utah
                          families from following in our footsteps. We CAN all work together to
                          make this an unbeatable package?

                          PS -- (We also urge you to consider supporting HB 103, Sponsored by Rep



                          • #14
                            Re: Utah Clean Fuel Tax Credit - On The Chopping Block Again

                            It seems that the current $3000 tax incentive just drives the prices up on these vehicles that have the credit, due to the demand for them in utah. Does anyone think that the price of these vehicles would drop without the tax incentive?

                            I feel that I paid about $3000 more for my CNG Escalade and did calculate my final price based on the tax credit, so I'm fine paying just what it was worth, but the tax credit only made it possible for me to get the vehicle, but it was in no way free money for me. (Then I found out I only qualify for $2500)

                            To really get the tax credit to the consumer, there should be something in the bill stating that used vehicles cannot be sold over high blue book or something like that. Otherwise, all these tax dollars are going to the dealers and making them rich....

                            The best incentive we have is the price of CNG here in Utah. I say, ditch the tax credits and focus on keeping the price of fuel low. Make clean fuels affordable and people will buy the vehicles that use them. And that benifit will go directly to the user, not dealers...

                            I have many friends that cannot afford anything but older used vehicles and they are all very interested in CNG. They never owe much taxes so the tax credits aren't much of an incentive for them, but the cheap fuel is!! But there is a risk that the fuel cost will go up and this keeps them from buying the vehicles. They also don't want to spent $3000 more on a CNG Civic when they can get a gas one for way less. Yes, $3000 buys alot of gas, even at $3 a gallon! If there were a guarantee for them to break even on a CNG vehicle most would do it. It's not all about saving money, they do want a clean air vehicle, but with no guarantees of the price of fuel, they just can't risk it.

                            Most CNG owners know that they have paid a premium for their vehicle. 2 types of people buy these vehicles. The first wants to run clean air vehicles and is will to pay much more to do it. Money is not the deciding factor. The others (the majority, I think) Want to run cleaner fuels, but money is the deciding factor and they cannot afford to put everything into a clean air vehicle only to break even on the deal in 3-5 years, and that's if Cng stays low. If it were to ever go up closer to regular gas prices, most of us would be paying more the run clean fuels than an efficient gas vehicle.
                            Last edited by Yroc; 02-05-2008, 10:51 AM.
                            2000 Escalade (option 3 conversion) FOR SALE
                            2004 F150 XLT (OEM conversion)
                            2000 Camry (Awesome Car!!)


                            • #15
                              Re: Utah Clean Fuel Tax Credit - On The Chopping Block Again


                              You make a good point about dealers jacking up their prices for CNG vehicles to be sold in Utah. Just a thought here...

                              What if we push to have only "NEW" vehicles qualify for the tax incentive. This would put more pressure on Detroit to manufacture alternative fuel vehicles and don't included electric hybrids nor E85 vehicles.

                              I have to be careful here, because I purchased a 2001 Cavalier and I am claiming my tax credit with my 2007 return. The tax credit was a big "convincer" for me on purchasing my car. I was lucky enough to find my through a private individual from Arizona that didn't know about the Utah tax incentive, so his price was around blue blook.

                              I seriously believe that this buying and selling of used CNG vehicles (Cavalier, F-150, Contour, Conversions, etc.) will eventually die down. There's only so many used vehicles to go around. These vehicles (with the exception of conversions) were only manufactured from 1998 to 2004.

                              It seems to me that we are between a rock and a hard spot. We would like tax incentives on CNG vehicles, but I don't think that the legislators are going to recognize the need/demand for these vehicles if Detroit is not making them. At the same time, I don't think that Detroit will make them until there is legislation out there supporting CNG vehicles.

                              That leaves it up to US to get the word out to everybody and anybody.
                              Mountain Green, Utah
                              2003 CNG Cavalier
                              2003 CNG Silverado 2500HD