Regional propane autogas program generates savings
Vehicle fleets across 12 U.S. states in the Southeast Propane Autogas Development Program saved an average of $1.62 per gallon last quarter filling up with propane autogas versus gasoline. Total fuel cost savings in this quarter alone exceeded $100,000, with almost 250 tons of greenhouse gas emissions displaced.
To date, autogas fleets in the program have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 2,000 tons and displaced more than 1 million gallons of gasoline.
“We are nearing the end of the third year of the Southeast Propane Autogas Development Program, and we’ve seen tremendous results in terms of reducing harmful pollutants and emissions, as well as helping regional fleets lower their fuel costs by running on propane autogas,” says Alleyn Harned, executive director of Virginia Clean Cities, one of the organizations that administers the program. “Autogas is a domestically produced, cleaner-burning fuel that is very cost effective for fleets, so it has a significant role to play in diversifying our nation’s transportation fuel.”
Propane autogas is an alternative fuel for fleets. Autogas costs less per gallon than gasoline. Implementing autogas vehicle conversions and installing fueling stations is an affordable, reasonably priced process, according to a program spokesman. Autogas vehicles emit fewer harmful emissions than gasoline vehicles, including 20 percent less carbon monoxide, 40 percent less nitrogen oxides and 10 to 18 percent less carbon dioxide.
Program fleets can enjoy both reduced fuel and maintenance costs via autogas, since propane autogas burns cleaner than gasoline. With 24 autogas fleet vehicles, Spotsylvania County in Virginia will save approximately $70,000 in fuel costs each year, while also displacing more than 60 tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Community Counseling Services in Mississippi converted 29 fleet vehicles to autogas and will save an estimated $60,000 in fuel costs annually, while displacing more than 40 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
Alliance AutoGas provides the fuel supply, fueling infrastructure and vehicle conversion equipment for fleet vehicles in the program. Though the Program is concentrated in the Southeast U.S., program fleet participant Veolia Transportation is converting more than 300 taxis nationwide to propane autogas, recently launching Baltimore’s first propane-powered taxi fleet.
The Southeast Propane Autogas Development Program is comprised of public and private partnerships throughout 10 states in the Southeast U.S., Denver and Pittsburgh. Over its four-year span, the program will put more than 1,200 autogas vehicles from public and private fleets on the road and implement more than 30 autogas fueling stations. Government and law enforcement fleets are taking part in the program.
Funding from the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Program supports the program. The program is managed and administered by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy and Virginia Clean Cities at James Madison University.