New propane autogas group looks to unite industry, grow gallons

February 22, 2016 By    

upasA group aiming to unite propane autogas stakeholders and grow gallons for the industry will make its official launch at the NPGA Southeastern Convention & International Propane Expo on April 8-10 in Nashville, Tenn.

The United Propane AutoGas Solutions (UPAS) Group is composed of industry companies, from propane vehicle system manufacturers and installers to refueling infrastructure providers and propane retailers, offering education and opportunities to advance the use of propane autogas across the nation.

Icom North America and Imega International USA partnered about one year ago to form the foundation of the group. IPS Equipment joined last summer.

“The idea is to have a company that does conversions, a company that builds infrastructure, and a propane company,” says Dave Biggs, sales manager at IPS Equipment, who is serving as the group’s executive director. “This is about the industry, about connecting the dots. If you have all three people in that room, you can answer your questions right there. It’s a one-stop shop.”

In addition to fuel system providers Icom and Imega and refueling equipment manufacturer IPS, the group includes about a dozen propane retailers. Together they will pursue fleet vehicle conversions, Biggs says, with a larger goal of establishing public fueling outlets across the country.

Biggs says the group is not limiting its membership, as it plans to draw more propane industry companies into the mix. He envisions a group whose strength is in numbers, giving fleet customers more options from which to choose.

“Let’s educate them and get them the right equipment,” he says.

The group operates like an association, Biggs says, and includes a board of directors. Icom Chairman Albert Venezio serves as the board’s chairman, and IPS President Jeff Vandemark is the vice chairman.

UPAS is also getting support from Kathe Biggs, director of events, and Sam Davis, director of marketing.

About the Author:

Brian Richesson is the editor in chief of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at or 216-706-3748.

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