CleanFUEL USA recently wrapped up a major project with Dallas County Schools (DCS) that saw dozens of type A Collins/Mid Bus school buses converted from gasoline to propane autogas.
The project, which began in April and ended this week, added 53 converted units to DCS' existing fleet of nearly 600 autogas-powered buses. The vehicles all feature the 6.0-liter GM engine on the G-4500 chassis.
DCS began deploying propane school buses more than 10 years ago, and CleanFUEL was a partner from the onset. The company advised DCS as it brought on autogas-powered type C buses from Blue Bird Corp., as well as helped DCS build eight autogas refueling facilities in concert with Northwest Propane Gas Co.
This particular project was supported by a $1 million grant from the North Central Texas Council of Governments' Clean Fleets North Texas program.
‘The decision to convert additional buses to propane autogas was an easy one,’ said Tim Jones, executive analyst for DCS, in a press release. ‘We have the infrastructure in place, making it a simple transition. We also live in the largest producing state of propane in the country.’
Curtis Donaldson, CEO and founder of CleanFUEL, tells NGT News that shifting to propane autogas is emerging as an increasingly viable option – based on technological advancements – as well as one with which fleets are becoming comfortable. Conversions are more straightforward than they were years ago, and the equipment that is installed – tanks and fuel lines – does not radically change a vehicle's
Also, the dedicated autogas system provides horsepower and torque akin to what's delivered from a gasoline platform.
‘You're optimizing the engine performance by running one fuel,’ Donaldson says.
The ease of installation and predictable performance, combined with significant fuel-cost savings versus gasoline or diesel, have helped CleanFUEL secure nearly 40 contracts with 24 Texas-based school districts during the past year.
U.S. Department of Energy grants totaling $12.6 million and another $3.1 million from the State Energy Conservation Office – all administered by the Railroad Commission of Texas – are backing the conversions CleanFUEL is performing.
More information about these school districts' fleet conversions to autogas can be found HERE.