Motorists driving vehicles powered by compressed natural gas (CNG) can now fill up anytime at a newly upgraded public access fueling station at 1701 Stewart St., near Olympic Boulevard in Santa Monica.

The self-serve fueling process was designed to be consumer-friendly.

A driver pulls up to the station’s dispenser pump, inserts a Visa or MasterCard, connects the dispenser hose, and fills the tank.

Experts estimate that CNG fuel averages about $1 less per gallon than regular gasoline.

Government officials, automakers, CNG vehicle users, and environmentalists gathered on Tuesday, May 23rd, for grand opening ceremonies at the new station site.

Operated by Clean Energy, the station provides CNG fuel for a variety of CNG-powered vehicles, from the Honda Civic GX to taxis, commercial vans, refuse trucks, and street sweepers.

“We are delighted to bring this economical and environmentally friendly fueling service to the people of Santa Monica and the adjoining Westside area,” said Andrew Littlefair, president of Clean Energy.

“Santa Monica has long been recognized for its unflagging commitment to ensuring a healthy environment for its citizens and we are very proud to now be a part of that effort.”

The Southern California Gas Company formerly operated the station.