Natural gas car sales are growing in Pennsylvania, as companies continue to build and expand their fleets, according to data from the Pennsylvania Energy Commission.
The growth in the natural gas car market, as measured by total sales, was driven in part by increased demand for natural gas in Pennsylvania and a shortage of natural gas by customers, according the report released Monday by the state’s energy commission.
The commission estimates that as of April 31, natural gas sales in the state amounted to $1.5 billion.
Natural gas cars accounted for about 1 percent of all sales.
The natural gas market has been a major driver of Pennsylvania’s economy, the report noted.
Natural Gas Market Insight, a trade group, reported that the state was the nation’s second-largest natural gas producer after New Mexico, accounting for about 10 percent of total gas sales.
Natural gas prices have also been trending higher in the region.
Gasoline at the pump is $2.26 per gallon, according a report from Bloomberg in January.
But natural gas is now about half of that price, the company said.
The rise in the price of natural energy also has pushed the average price of a gallon of gasoline up to about $3.60, according Bloomberg.
In March, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed a bill that would provide an additional $10 billion for energy projects, including new power plants, to help fill the void left by the shutdown of the state government.
The bill passed the state Senate, which is expected to vote on it next week.