Icom North America LLC has debuted its Propane Optimization Process (POP): an option that allows fleet managers to ensure that the consumption of propane autogas stays front-and-center in bi-fuel vehicles.
According to Icom chairman Albert Venezio, the core tactic behind POP is simple: Do not let your drivers use gasoline unless no propane is available in the vehicle's tank.
Why would a driver opt to use gasoline instead of propane, even though the fuel is substantially cheaper – and even though the driver's fleet manager has specified that propane must be used?
Again, simple explanations prevail: The driver could have hit the dashboard bi-fuel switch to gasoline and neglected to flip it back to propane after an autogas fill-up. Maybe the driver has a perceived bias toward the performance of a vehicle running on gasoline as opposed to propane. Perhaps the driver believes alternative fuels are nonsense. Maybe the driver has an axe to grind against the fleet manager or his employer.
POP is designed to eliminate all these influences through the implementation of relatively straightforward hardware and software tweaks. Once these alterations to the bi-fuel system are completed, drivers cannot manually override the system to switch to gasoline. (The vehicle will still shift from propane to gasoline when the former is exhausted.)
‘It was a simple thing for us to figure out, but it changes the way the fleet uses the vehicles,’ Venezio says.
Fleets working with Icom on propane autogas conversions can choose POP as an option when specifying the order, he adds.