Jimmy Stewart can get about 300 miles per tank in his 2009 Honda Civic, a vehicle that runs solely on natural gas.
"I went from downtown Columbus to downtown Cleveland, from there over down I-77 over through Coshocton down to Newark, which is where I refilled," said Stewart, a former state senator representing southeastern Ohio and current head of the Ohio Gas Association. "I think I'd gone 303 miles."
And the cost? About half as much of standard unleaded gasoline fueling most passenger vehicles on Ohio's roads today.
The mileage is comparable to other cars, and Stewart said there's very little difference in how the vehicle feels on the road. The only drawback at present is the lack of gas stations selling compressed natural gas.
Gov. John Kasich and others are hoping to change that.
During a first-of-its-kind conference at Ohio State University last Tuesday, the governor and other members of his administration urged business groups to consider natural gas-powered vehicles, given the increased production from horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and other factors that could translate into cost savings.
"It is going to take the business leaders," Kasich said. "The business leaders have to make up their mind that this is something that they care about. If you can show quantity and you can show a market, then we can get more filling stations. And as we get more compressed natural gas stations out there, then we can get the auto industry to show more interest. We may be able to get them to build more cars here. Then we are off and running."
He added later, "We want to get this done. I hope within the next decade, Ohio will be the leader in vehicles powered by natural gas. I do not think there is any reason why it should not happen."
The event Tuesday was coordinated by the governor's office, America's Natural Gas Alliance and the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.
The purpose, said PUCO Chairman Todd Snitchler, was to discuss the potential increase in the use of natural gas vehicles and the development of the infrastructure necessary to accommodate them.
Kasich signed a memorandum of understanding last year with governors from more than a dozen other states, agreeing to cooperate on the development of the compressed natural gas industry, including the purchase of natural gas-powered vehicles in their state fleets.
In Ohio, state officials are reviewing vehicles owned by the Ohio Department of Transportation and other agencies to determine whether to replace existing conventional ones.
Craig Butler, assistant director of energy, environment and agriculture for the governor, said the state's commitment to the vehicles could help promote private use. "We would love to be able to see that happen.
"This can be in Ohio, by Ohio, for Ohio," Snitchler added. "It is Ohioans who are going to be working in the fields, getting the gas out of the ground. It is folks that are building the cars and working in the automotive industry already, and it is folks that are buying those vehicles and using them across the state and across the region."