N.C. Public Safety Fleet: Year One on Propane Autogas


The Sheriff's Office in Buncombe County, N.C., which completed propane autogas conversions on 10 Ford Crown Victorias last February, says the fleet saved approximately $13,000 in fuel costs during the first year of deployment.

Alliance AutoGas arranged the project, which included propane autogas system installations from GermanMotorWerks in Asheville, N.C., and autogas fueling from Blossman Gas. Grant funding from the Southeast Propane Autogas Development Program (administered by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy and Virginia Clean Cites) supported the initiative.

‘We were looking at two main things when it came to switching to alternative fuel vehicles,’ said Buncombe County Sheriff Van Duncan. ‘We wanted to boost our bottom line in terms of fuel cost savings, and also to have cleaner-burning cars on the road. Propane autogas was the practical fuel choice because not only does it support these goals, there also isn't a noticeable difference in vehicle performance when converting these Crown Victorias from gasoline to autogas.’

The sheriff's patrol cars, which feature the Prins VSI bi-fuel autogas system, travel an average of almost 25,000 miles annually, and the fleet is using than 17,000 gallons of propane autogas per year. The department is examining options for converting an additional 10 vehicles.

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