Newport News fleet makes conversion to propane autogas

May 10, 2012 By    

The city of Newport News, Va., expects to save $22,000 annually on fuel costs after converting 22 fleet vehicles to propane autogas. The city is one of more than 35 regional fleets participating in the Southeast Propane Autogas Development Program (SPADP), which provided funding assistance to help the city switch to autogas. Conversions of 12 Ford Crown Victorias and 10 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 trucks began in October 2011 and were completed in six weeks.

“Autogas is a good fit for our fleet,” said Newport News Vehicle Services Director Bob McElheney. “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. We were fortunate to receive some funding assistance with SPADP. However, because of the significant fuel savings we’re seeing with autogas, we intend to purchase more propane autogas-capable vehicles in the future.”

Alliance AutoGas partner Baker Equipment performed the vehicle conversions for Newport News, and Alliance fueling partner Phillips Energy installed a 1,000-gallon autogas tank with fuel dispenser at the fleet’s home base. The city entered into a fuel contract with Phillips, which implemented the autogas station at no upfront cost and provides year-round fuel supply.

Paying less than $2 per gallon for autogas, Newport News is saving a significant amount on fuel costs. Since the 22 vehicles will use about 18,000 gallons of autogas each year, the city expects to save about $22,000 annually.

Newport News has also committed to converting an additional four Ford F-150 trucks under the grant. Apart from the program, the city is purchasing upfit packages to enable the conversion of 12 Ford F-250 trucks to run on alternative fuels such as autogas.

The Southeast Propane Autogas Development Program is composed of public and private partnerships throughout 10 southeastern states, Denver and Pittsburgh.

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik was a senior editor at LP Gas Magazine.

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