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USPS contractor adds propane autogas vehicles to fleet

August 4, 2022 By     0 Comments
Photo: PERC

Photo: PERC

Hi Pro Inc., a nationwide mail logistics contractor with a 40-year history servicing the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), added five propane-fueled Class 6 box trucks to its vehicle fleet.

According to the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), Hi Pro is the first U.S. Postal Service contractor in Colorado to operate a fleet with propane autogas.

The contractor commemorated the launch of its autogas fleet at a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Commerce City, Colorado, this month. During the ceremony, Hi Pro CEO Joshua Stoneback unveiled the five Class 6 ultra-low nitrogen oxide (NOx) box trucks and the propane autogas infrastructure designed to reduce emissions in the Denver metro.

Hi Pro’s propane trucks have a lifetime low-carbon footprint comparable to electric vehicles but achieve those emissions reductions at a fraction of the price over the life cycle of the truck, PERC says. Each box truck will produce 281 metric tons of CO2 less per year than the same electric vehicle charging and operating using Colorado’s electric grid.

“With these propane autogas trucks, Hi Pro Inc. will be environmentally sustainable and financially sustainable,” Stoneback says. “We’ve all felt the pain of filling up at the pump with gasoline or diesel. With propane, I won’t feel that anymore. The cost of propane autogas is a fraction of what I would be paying for diesel. And to top it off, the fleet is reducing emissions at the same time. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

The vehicle fleet and infrastructure, provided by AmeriGas, are part of a $1 million research pilot project, “Delivering Clean Air in Denver: Propane Trucks and Infrastructure in Mail Delivery Application,” funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy and the work of Drive Clean Colorado.

Photo: PERC

Photo: PERC

The ultra-low NOx propane vehicles, developed by Roush CleanTech, reduce NOx emissions by 96 percent compared to diesel, according to PERC, and the engine is certified to the optional ultra-low NOx CARB .02 standard, operating 90 percent cleaner than the EPA’s strictest heavy-duty standard.

“Commerce City is disproportionately impacted by poor air quality compared to other cities in Colorado,” says Bonnie Trowbridge, executive director of Drive Clean Colorado. “Launching these propane autogas vehicles, which are much cleaner than their diesel counterparts, will help to lower emissions to provide a better air quality for the community.”

As part of the program, Drive Clean Colorado will work in partnership with DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory to gather real-world data on the vehicles to showcase the use of propane autogas as an alternative energy source. Drive Clean Colorado will also work with PERC to publish its findings to demonstrate how other fleet owners can implement propane autogas into their operations, PERC says.

“Hi Pro is leading the way down the path to zero emissions for the USPS and for the Denver metro, demonstrating that we have clean energy solutions we can implement today to make a real difference,” says Steve Whaley, director of autogas business development at PERC. “Considering the number of miles the delivery trucks drive every day, this is a major step toward cleaner air to breathe and a healthier community for Commerce City.”

About the Author:

Carly Bemer (McFadden) is the managing editor at LP Gas magazine. She can be reached at 216-363-3930 or cbemer@northcoastmedia.net.

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