The Flint Mass Transportation Authority, Charlotte Public Schools and Reed City Area Schools – all based in Michigan – have begun propane autogas vehicle conversion programs with Crystal Flash, a recent addition to the Alliance AutoGas partner network.
Flint MTA will be deploying 60 new propane-powered vans this month, and the group plans on having a total of nearly 100 propane vehicles in its fleet within a year. Reed City has purchased and put six new propane buses into service, while Charlotte has
replaced five of its diesel buses with new propane vehicles.
Edgar Benning, CEO and general manager of Flint MTA, says the organization put two propane vanes on the road in 2011 to test the technology. The pilot project's success led to the 60-van order, and more than 30 mid-size propane buses will be deployed next.
‘With autogas, we had no special storage requirements and found it relatively easy to train the drivers on how to fuel the vehicles,’ he says.
Benning estimates that Flint MTA will reduce fuel and maintenance expenses by $500,000 this year, and as more propane vehicles come online, that figure will likely increase to $750,000 in 2014.