HOUSTON, June 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In 2013, CenterPointEnergy will add 35 natural gas vehicles to its fleet across Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas. Additionally, the company expects to provide natural gas service to at least 17 new compressed natural gas fueling stations built in the company's service territory. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20020930/CNPLOGO) "Vehicles powered by affordable, clean, safe and domestic natural gas can create American jobs, save businesses and consumers money, protect the environment, and bring us energy independence for the decades ahead," said Joe McGoldrick, division president of Gas Operations, for CenterPoint Energy. "Natural gas can compete with other vehicle fuels, but we need to expand our infrastructure and nurture the growing natural gas vehicle market." The expected 2013 additions will bring the number of natural gas fueling stations in CenterPoint Energy's service territory to at least 49, with the majority located in Texas, Oklahoma and Minnesota. A number of retail gasoline stations have also begun exploring plans to add natural gas pumps to their locations. Consumer interest in natural gas vehicles continues to grow as a result of increased station availability and the low cost compared to traditional gasoline. Across the U.S., a gallon of gasoline costs $3.60 on average, while a gallon of compressed natural gas costs $2.10. According to America's Natural Gas Alliance, natural gas vehicles have also been shown to emit on average 25 percent less carbon dioxide than their gasoline and diesel-burning counterparts. Consumer interest has attracted the attention of major car manufacturers as well. Ford Motor Company recently announced they sold a record 11,600 natural gas vehicles in their 2012 model year lineup – more than tripling 2010 sales. General Motors Company and Chrysler Group also added natural gas pickup trucks to their lineups, while Honda has manufactured the natural gas-powered Civix GX since 1998.