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National park debuts propane trucks, fueling stations

Great Smoky Mountains National Park added two propane fueling stations for the park’s propane trucks and mowers. Photo courtesy of the East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition

Great Smoky Mountains National Park added six propane-fueled trucks and two propane fueling stations, equipment that it says will help leave a smaller carbon footprint and boost operational efficiencies.

The park partnered with the East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition and the Land of the Sky Clean Vehicles Coalition to install the propane fueling systems and the propane-fueled Ford F-250 trucks. It received funding for the additions from a joint U.S. Department of Interior and Department of Energy initiative called the Clean Cities National Park Initiative, according to the East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition. The park selected Icom North America’s liquid injection system for the vehicles, according to East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition.

“We continue to work toward meeting our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from 2006 levels by 20 percent by 2020,” says Cassius Cash, superintendent at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. “These improvements along with the recent addition of propane mowers, electric vehicles and DC fast-charge stations enable us to be better stewards of this special place.”

The new refueling stations can be used for the park’s propane trucks or mowers, East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition says. Blossman Gas supplies propane on the North Carolina side of the park, and Sevier County Propane serves the Tennessee side.

“We are saving about 30 cents to 50 cents per gallon using propane,” says Brian Bergsma, deputy chief of facility management at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. “In addition to saving money, we have also doubled the driving range of the trucks and saved time by being able to refuel propane mower equipment on-site.”