The US market for propane autogas has been very active in recent years, with the fuel garnering better name recognition and new and returning fleet customers putting more vehicles on the road. Fleet managers are aggressively adding alternative-fuel vehicles to their fleets, including autogas-powered vehicles, primarily due to savings associated with its use, as well as the availability of Federal Tax Credits and a desire to lower emissions. Alliance AutoGas is the first, complete, comprehensive propane autogas program with great success throughout North America. The Alliance AutoGas program continues to appeal to both national and local fleets alike.
Driving alternative fuel growth in their industry, Alliance AutoGas and its extended partners, comprised of more than 120 independent propane marketers and authorized conversion center members in 48 US states plus Canada, met for its 2016 Annual Member Meeting in mid- May. Held at the AutoGas Research & Technology Center in Asheville, NC, attendees came from throughout the Alliance network including Delaware, Indiana, Ohio, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, New York State, Connecticut, Washington State, Oregon, Utah, Arizona, Northern California, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Missouri, Michigan, Kentucky, West Virginia and Tennessee.
The diverse group of members actively discussed relevant topics to the Alliance and the industry including: Alliance Engineered Fuel System & Advancements; Addressing Law Enforcement Agencies and Municipal Fleets; Fleet Success Throughout the Country Based on Platform Development; New Advancements in Refueling Technology and Data Management; New Tank Evaporation Systems for Propane Marketers and Conversion Centers; new Technology in Alliance Small Engine Systems and the Direction of Alliance AutoGas and the Autogas Market in the US.
New ideas, innovation and quality, state of-the-art alternative fuel technologies, all hallmarks of Alliance AutoGas over the years, were acknowledged by the members. Dan Richardson of Conger LP Gas notes, “The Alliance Autogas meeting was a great chance to hear the latest developments happening not only within our industry, but also within our alliance. Propane marketers from all over the nation attended and for our company, these meetings provided a chance for us to network with other progressive, like-minded companies and hear their success stories. For me, it was a chance to re-focus on where Conger LP Gas, Inc. can be with autogas sales in the future and to see some of the new ideas available to grow our business.”
Adds Trent Nagata, Superior Plus Energy Services, “The annual member meeting was a wealth of knowledge in terms of the progress Alliance Autogas had made to develop and deliver the simplest, most customer-focused, turnkey autogas solutions in the industry. The additional autogas-related “gap” tools Alliance Autogas has developed along with the future vision of where the industry is heading made the meeting time definitely well spent.”
Harris Baker of Pinnacle Propane further says,” Through constant innovation and development of great solutions that benefit Pinnacle Propane’s success in promoting autogas and alternative fuels, Alliance AutoGas provides its members safe, successful, supported promotion and adoption of autogas making it easy, efficient and economically viable for all stakeholders.”
Alliance Continues Growth Momentum
Truly the only one stop shop in the on-road autogas market, Alliance AutoGas has installed over 800 refueling facilities in the US and Canada. In addition, Alliance has converted or participated in supplying autogas to more than 10,000 propane autogas vehicles and buses in North America, helping them run on clean-burning propane with units’ sales increasing monthly. In the past year, Alliance members collectively displaced 45 million gallons of gasoline and produced $70 million in fuel cost savings for the 550 fleets they service.
Key innovations in the marketplace developed by Alliance AutoGas are their engineered systems that can be installed in only a few hours. These systems do not require any permanent vehicle modifications. All wiring is “plug and play.” Everything is bracketed and designed to be installed without any drilling or fabrication. By deploying these features, labor times and conversion costs are significantly reduced. Fleets can experience a positive ROI with a partial asset life when reduced conversion costs are coupled with low, stable fuel prices. Recent innovations in dispensers and filling hardware, such as the ultra-low emission filling nozzle and the “Safe Connect” vehicle valve, give the operator the ability to fill the vehicle faster than gasoline without the need for any personal protective devices.
Just completed in May and supported by Alliance members, Clean City Coalitions and corporate sponsors, the Alliance recently embarked on a 5500+ mile, 12-city, cross country road trip – the Alliance AutoGas Coast-to-Coast Clean Air Ride – with its record-setting propane autogas converted F-150 using the “plug and play” system and safe connect nozzle. 468 gallons of propane autogas were used, reducing CO₂ emissions by 25% compared to a gasoline vehicle. “The cross country trip in Alliance AutoGas’ Ford F-150 was a great opportunity to demonstrate why propane autogas is the world’s #1 alternative fuel. We educated citizens and fleet managers across the country on the extended range of autogas vehicles as well as the benefits of real costs savings and emissions reductions,” says Stuart Weidie, President and CEO of Blossman Gas and President of Alliance AutoGas.