A number of dignitaries, including White House Council on Environmental Quality chairwoman Nancy Sutley, were on hand this week in Newport News, Va., to see the city fleet's complement of vehicles that are powered by propane autogas.
The Newport News Vehicle & Equipment Services Department recently deployed 12 propane-powered Ford Crown Victorias and 10 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 trucks. The city is among the 35 fleets that are participating in the Southeast Propane Autogas Development Program (SPADP), which facilitates vehicle conversions from diesel or gasoline to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
‘Autogas is a good fit for our fleet,’ said Bob McElheney, the vehicle services director for Newport News. ‘We're saving on fuel costs, reducing vehicle emissions, the infrastructure cost is lower than for other alternative fuels, and vehicle performance has actually improved.’
The city fleet conversion was funded, in part, with assistance from the SPADP. But because of the fuel cost savings that are being realized with propane, Newport News plans on purchasing additional autogas-capable vehicles.
SPADP works with fleets in 10 Southeastern U.S. states, as well as in Denver and Pittsburgh. The program focuses on support for both vehicles and autogas refueling infrastructure.