The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has certified a natural-gas model of the Ford Transit Connect, according to Impco Automotive.

Impco, a division of Fuel System Solutions, manufactures the compressed natural gas system. The system is available on 2011 Transit Connect van and wagon models with the 2L, 4-cyl. engine. Certification is expected for 2012 models later this fall, Impco said.

“We are pleased to continue to expand our offering of products to convert this popular light-duty Ford vehicle platform from gasoline to clean burning, plentiful, domestic CNG,” said Jay Sandler, Impco Automotive’s director of original equipment manufacturers (OEM) & fleet sales. “Our innovative fuel systems enable fleets and vehicle operators to significantly lower their operating costs and reduce emissions while at the same time avoiding reliance on foreign oil during these times of rising fuel prices.”

Impco had previously earned certification for the systems from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, but the new certification means the vehicle and system meet both Federal Inherently Low Emissions Vehicle (ILEV) and California Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (SULEV) standards, permitting single-occupant access to HOV carpool lanes in California and many other states that provide this dedicated alternative fuel vehicle incentive to motorists.