CHARLRESTON, W.Va. -- Recently, Chris Wirts had to park his new car because he couldn't find fuel to power it for about a week.
"I was a bit ahead of the game," Wirts said of his Honda Civic, which runs off compressed natural gas.
This week, though, he filled his eight-gallon-equivalent tank up for $13 down the road from where he works. IGS Energy opened its second compressed natural gas fueling station in the Mountain State in Charleston next to Foodland on Spring Street.
The station will have its official grand opening after the holiday season. It's now open to the public for fueling, said TJ Meadows, business manager with IGS Energy.
Wirts purchased the alternative fuel vehicle for his 15-year-old daughter, Christine, about a month ago. Since then, Wirts has parked his truck and switched to driving the smaller, more fuel-efficient ride until his daughter receives her driver's license.
"It's not a race car but it handles better than my truck does," he added.
While driving around town, Wirts said the car gets the equivalent of about 27 miles per gallon of gasoline. In the past month and a half, Wirts has only driven his truck once.
He works in the natural gas industry for EQT as an engineer and has been thinking about buying an alternative fuel vehicle since he received a tax break when he bought his last vehicle -- a "flex fuel" truck.
Flex fuel vehicles run off of traditional gasoline or a blend of up to 85 percent ethanol.
The state has stopped offering tax incentives for flex fuel vehicles but currently offers a $7,500 tax credit for compressed natural gas car and light-truck purchases. The state also offers tax credits for companies willing to build new natural gas fueling stations.
The sticker price of the Civic was $28,000, but because it was last year's model and was accompanied by tax incentives from the state, Honda and his employer, he paid about $23,400 for the car.
Wirts said a similar Civic that runs on regular gas cost about $18,000.
"[The price difference] is smaller than I initially thought," Wirts said. "But with all the incentives it's beautiful."