The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kans., (UG) is wrapping up a project that will see 13 buses and a pair of pickup trucks converted to run on propane autogas. The fleet expects the project to be completed by the end of April.
‘Major fuel cost savings, protecting the environment and lengthening of bus life are just a few of the benefits of using propane fuel,’ says Emerick Cross, UG's director of transit. ‘It will be a win-win situation for transit riders, the Unified Government and the citizens of our community.’
The 13 para-transit buses are built on the Ford E-450 chassis and configured to accommodate 22 passengers, and the pickup trucks are Ford F-150s. Both the buses and trucks feature the JTG II bi-fuel autogas system from Icom North America, installed by Midwest Green Fuels.
Ferrellgas is providing the propane refueling infrastructure – which includes a 1,000-gallon tank and the associated dispenser – along with refueling safety training for UG staff. The conversion to propane will displace the consumption of 50,000 gallons of gasoline annually and result in fuel cost savings exceeding $100,000 each year.
The project is being funding through a federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant, which was awarded to UG in 2010.
UG notes that it is also converting one Class 8 truck to propane (using Icom's JTG diesel bi-fuel technology) and several Ford Police Interceptor Utility vehicles, which are based on the Explorer.
‘If these vehicles respond as well as the buses, it will open more avenues for us to expand our objectives,’ says Merle McCullough, UG's fleet manager.