Michigan City Initiates Programs for Alternative Fuel Vehicles

The City of Auburn Hills, Mich., is converting eight of its 2013 Dodge Charger police vehicles to run on propane autogas, as well as installing the supporting autogas refueling infrastructure.

These conversions, the city says, are a part of a larger initiative that focuses on prioritizing a shift to alternative fuels for the city's municipal fleet. In addition to the propane police cruisers, Auburn Hills is eyeing compressed natural gas (CNG) for its pickup trucks – but CNG refueling would need to come first.

The cost of the eight propane autogas systems for the Chargers is just under $33,000, and the refueling equipment will total approximately $15,700. The city has signed a one-year contract to acquire propane autogas at $1.69/gallon.

‘Incorporating eight new propane bi-fuel police pursuit vehicles into the Department of Emergency Services' fleet is expected to save the city about $44,000 in fuel and maintenance cost combined over the 4.72-year average life cycle of the vehicles,’ says Ron Melchert, director of the city's Department of Public Works.

He adds that ROI could be realized in as little as 2.5 years, ‘when considering the cost of the eight propane autogas units, training and the LPG fueling dispenser compared to the anticipated fuel and maintenance savings.’

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