Federal tax credits also are available for up to 30 percent of the cost of installing alternative fueling equipment. This amount cannot exceed $30,000 and must be in service before Dec. 31, 2011.
Convenient, straightforward refueling
Approximately 56,000 miles of pipeline and more than 6,000 retail dealer locations make propane autogas increasingly available throughout the United States. In addition, using vehicles fueled by propane autogas can play a key role in lowering the national dependence on foreign oil, as 90 percent of propane autogas used in the United States today comes from domestic production sources.
Many fleet managers are realizing the advantages of installing on-site dispensing, which includes a large tank and a no-spill dispenser. The cost of installing a propane autogas refueling station is comparable to the cost of installing a gasoline or diesel refueling station.
For example, Mammoth Cave owns a 1,000-gallon, on-site refueling dispenser, while Forever Resorts negotiates an annual fuel contract and manages weekly fuel delivery with a local propane provider. During the busy summer months, the buses use around 80 gallons of fuel daily. All drivers have been trained on proper refueling procedures. Safety and training classes can be taught by local propane providers on-site.
Fleets also can refuel off-site at thousands of refueling stations across the United States. Fleet managers and drivers can locate stations via the Energy Department’s Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicle Data Center.1
The combination of advanced propane autogas engine technology and availability of vehicle and refueling options means that fleet managers can begin to integrate vehicles fueled by propane autogas into their existing operations immediately.
The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) supports the research and development of engines and liquid propane autogas injection systems for vehicle platforms. In the past two years, more than a dozen new platforms fueled by propane autogas have been developed with funding from PERC.
Fleet managers can choose from buses fueled by propane autogas from companies such as Blue Bird Corp., Collins Bus Corp., and soon from Thomas Built Buses. These manufacturers have collaborated with well-known automotive companies to provide liquid propane autogas injection engines for their respective bus offerings.
Other applications include shuttle bus and van applications from Roush CleanTech through a partnership with Ford Motor Co., and CleanFuel USA through a partnership with General Motors, each of which has new platforms in development. These include Ford E-series vans and GM 6.0L G4500 Cut-Van Chassis and GM 6.0L G3500 Cut-Van Chassis.
Fleet managers also are able to convert their existing gasoline-fueled vehicles to run on propane autogas. Aftermarket conversion kits are available from manufacturers such as Alliance AutoGas, Landi Renzo, RGR Alternative Fuels, IMPCO, ICOM North America and others. MT
Read the complete story at www.MassTransitmag.com/10441661
Steve Wayne is chief commercial officer for the Propane Education & Research Council.