Banner Week For Propane Fleet Conversions

It was a busy week in the propane autogas world, with a number of fleets unveiling new buses, taxis, pickup trucks and passenger cars that have severed their tethers to gasoline and diesel.

Down in Georgia, dignitaries including the governor and lieutenant governor joined with a number of industry partners – ROUSH CleanTech, Blue Bird Corp. and Ferrellgas among them – to commemorate Hall County School System’s deployment of propane-powered buses.

The district recently purchased 20 72-passenger Vision units from Blue Bird through Yancey Bus Sales. These vehicles are all equipped with ROUSH liquid propane systems, and they are fueled via three 1,000-gallon tanks located on school property. Ferrellgas provided the fueling infrastructure.

Right now, Hall County is paying less than $2.00 a gallon for propane, which will equate to more than $36,000 in fuel cost savings this year alone, the district says.

Up north in Newport News, Va., the Southeast Propane Autogas Development Program (SPADP) assisted the city’s fleet in rolling out a number of propane vehicles: 12 Ford Crown Victorias and 10 Chevrolet Silverado 2500s.

‘We’re saving on fuel costs, reducing vehicle emissions, the infrastructure cost is lower than for other alternative fuels, and vehicle performance has actually improved,’ Bob McElheney, vehicle services director for the city, said in a press release. ‘We intend to purchase more propane autogas-capable vehicles in the future.’

Baker Equipment handled the propane conversions on the vehicles, and Phillips Energy installed a 1,000-gallon autogas tank at the fleet’s headquarters. The city anticipates that it will save more than $20,000 a year in fuel costs with these 22 new vehicles.

And today, the city of Baltimore is officially launching its first propane autogas taxi fleet. Taxi operator Veolia Transportation has converted 50 Checker and Yellow taxis to run on autogas, and these vehicles will be served by a fueling station that the company built in the city.

Veolia performed the conversions in partnership with the SPADP. The company is converting another 250 taxis in Pittsburgh, Denver and Jacksonville, Fla., to run on autogas by the end of the year.

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