Alliance AutoGas
Bifuel System

In 2018, Todd Smith, City Administrator for the Town of Greeneville, TN, wanted to reduce the town’s expenses as well as their impact on the environment. Smith started to research the potential benefits of adding an autogas program to the town’s fleet, and found that by working with Alliance AutoGas (AAG), they could purchase fuel at a fixed rate, have reduced maintenance requirements, and the ability to reduce the town’s carbon footprint. “After confirming those key benefits, we knew this was a program to implement,” said Smith.

The Town of Greeneville started with converting three of their Law Enforcement Ford Explorers. One benefit of the converted police vehicles that Smith soon found was having a bi-fuel engine. An autogas bi-fuel vehicle is a conventional gasoline vehicle that can run on both autogas and gasoline. The primary advantage of a bi-fuel system over a dedicated “monofuel” system is its elimination of range anxiety when compared to other alternative fuel vehicles. “In addition to upfront benefits found in autogas, having an additional fuel increases the department’s loiter time in our vehicles for emergencies,” according to Smith.

After seeing the success with its three initial autogas vehicles, the Town of Greeneville expanded its autogas program with AAG. The town currently has 18 converted autogas vehicles for the local police department, which includes 13 Ford Law Enforcement Sedans, and five Ford Law Enforcement Explorers. As with many of AAG’s customers, the Town of Greeneville decided to invest in its own autogas refueling station. “AAG was able to quickly deliver and install a propane vehicle refueling station for the town that is as similar to operate as going to your regular gasoline station,” says David Kennedy, Director of Autogas Design at Alliance AutoGas. “The Town of Greeneville officers can easily drive up, activate, and fill their vehicles with propane at their very own convenient AAG propane station.” When speaking on the refueling infrastructure, Smith added, “With the new infrastructure, our officers can refuel their vehicles quickly while being able to easily respond to calls. It makes refueling very convenient for our department.”

The Alliance AutoGas National Network also includes AAG Certified Service and Installation centers. Kyker’s Extreme Automotive, which is owned and operated by Dale and Lisa Kyker, has served the Greeneville area since 1982, and has a long history of servicing the town of Greeneville’s vehicles. As such, it was only natural that Kyker’s became a certified Service and Installation Center so that they were able to continue maintaining the town’s vehicles. “We actually started propane conversions in 1988 for a local fleet, and one of those trucks is still in use today,” said Dale Kyker. “Working with AAG has been simple, straight-forward, and the training was top notch. The AAG conversion systems are relatively flawless and very well designed. We believe propane is a great alternative fuel with less of a carbon footprint than gasoline. It can save the taxpayer money and increase our officer’s ability to stay on the scene, which makes it a win for everyone involved.”

In times of emergencies, like the current fight against COVID-19, fuel uncertainty is among many concerns for fleets across the country. Propane autogas is produced domestically, which provides a reliable fuel source for all essential employees who are utilizing the alternative fuel. Autogas gives fleets independence by not having to rely on foreign fuel and provides the ability to focus on whatever is needed out of a particular fleet during a crisis. “Having an additional fuel source helps maintain the town’s ability to provide critical services to the residents of Greeneville in times of shortages and emergencies,” says Todd Smith.

Alliance AutoGas member Blossman Gas is the refueling partner in this project. Scott Prewitt, Regional Vice President for Blossman Gas says, “Blossman is proud to have the opportunity to serve the town and this police department. It shows how much their leadership cares about the residents they serve. Autogas gives fleets a peace of mind for the department in knowing they have a sustainable domestic fuel source.” To date, the Town of Greeneville has used 18,500 gallons of autogas, which according to EPA calculations displaces 566 barrels of oil and 448 short tons of greenhouse gas emissions. 

Happy Fox, an Alternative Fuel Consultant for AAG says, “The Town of Greeneville has an outstanding team that is committed to serving the local community. They have been great to work with in regards to their autogas program.” When discussing the future of the propane autogas program, Todd Smith added, “Propane now is an option to consider when looking at alternative fuel sources across the Town of Greeneville. We are currently discussing being able to expand our program for local school buses among other departments.” 

Bifuel System

Green’s Blue Flame Gas Company is leading by example in the propane industry. In October of 2019, the company finished converting the last of its service and delivery vehicle fleet to operate using propane autogas. This now means that their entire fleet, 100% of their applicable vehicles, are propane equipped. Green’s Blue Flame, one of the first partners of Alliance AutoGas (AAG) in 2010, has been under continuous ownership and operation by the Green family who started the business in 1967.

President of Green’s Blue Flame Gas Company, Joe Green says, “I met Randy Doyle [former CFO] of Blossman Gas [founding company of AAG] back in 2009 through [NPGA] benchmarking. Randy told me about AAG and asked if I was interested. After I said I was, Stuart Weidie called me and I soon found out that we had a lot of common interests. We wanted to run everything we could on propane and make propane more accessible to our customers, and I knew AAG could contribute to that goal.” When speaking upon the impact Green’s Blue Flame has made on the propane industry, Stuart Weidie, President of AAG added, “Joe and Brian Green have been leaders in the US autogas industry for many years. We are honored that they are a major contributor to the AAG network and have set a fine example by deploying autogas in their own fleet.”

Since Bill Green started Green’s Blue Flame Gas Company back in the 1960s, the family business has always utilized propane in whatever way possible. Brian Green, Business Development Manager for Green’s Blue Flame says, “The technology has changed significantly over the years but the constant for our company has been the mentality of doing what is necessary to convert our vehicles and keep them running on propane.” Shawn Hicks, Service Manager for Green’s Blue Flame, has been with the company for almost 40 years and has contributed largely to the success of their autogas program. “Having someone in-house that has the ability to diagnose and repair anything propane related has been key in enabling the company to achieve a 100% propane fleet, not including our propane transport,” says Green.

The entire world is facing both personal and professional challenges in the fight against COVID-19. While social distancing and staying at home are key parts of winning this fight, many businesses and organizations deemed essential must continue to operate. When speaking upon the family’s business, Brian Green says, “The propane industry is working in the background to make sure homes and other essential businesses continue to operate during this difficult time. As a primarily commercial-focused propane service provider, we have many customers critical to the supply chain needed to support households and essential infrastructure. The most notable is a local food bank that distributes food to those that need it.” Garrett Green, Operations Manager for Green’s Blue Flame states, “We made changes to our delivery and invoicing process to provide the safest environment possible for our employees and customers while maintaining a quality service.” Stuart Weidie from AAG adds, “The United States should not allow its transportation sector to be subject to another country’s production of goods and materials. Instead, we should all join the movement to use a domestically produced transportation fuel, propane autogas, to ensure our national security and clean the air.”

This past year, Green’s Blue Flame was able to secure about $65,000 through the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) to convert their fleet to the domestic fuel. The TERP program provides financial incentives to eligible individuals, businesses, or local governments to reduce emissions from polluting vehicles and equipment. “Our state is fortunate to have a program like TERP, which provides incentives to fleets who want to utilize a clean-burning fuel such as propane,” says Brian Green.

Green’s Blue Flame has 18 total vehicles in their service and delivery fleet, ranging from bobtail trucks to light-duty services trucks. Fuel savings are adding up quickly; the company is currently saving 60% by using propane in their bobtail trucks as opposed to diesel and saving 50% by utilizing propane in their light-duty vehicles. Green’s Blue Flame is also pleased to see savings on their overall vehicle maintenance. For example, regulations require diesel-powered vehicles to use diesel emissions fluid (DEF) for daily operation to help reduce particulate matter and nitrogen oxide (NOx). Propane autogas burns clean and does not require additional fluids like DEF, which eliminates the expense entirely.

AAG is thrilled to have a Partner like Green’s Blue Flame lead by example in the propane industry. Jessica Johnson, Partner and Projects Liaison for AAG says, “Green’s Blue Flame Gas Company exemplifies how a propane company should aim to do business in today’s industry. We have enjoyed working with them over the years and hope our other partners will strive to convert their fleets to 100% autogas as well, now that they see it can be done.” When speaking on Green’s Blue Flame recent accomplishment, Brian Green added, “Having a fleet where we run everything on propane shows we fully believe in propane as a fleet fuel. By having 100% of our fleet run on autogas, it shows our customers how invested we are in propane.”

Bifuel System
Alliance AutoGas wrapped Ford F250 Truck with 7.3L V8, 430 horsepower, 475 torque. Now running on clean-burning autogas.

Alliance AutoGas (AAG) will be unveiling its latest technology at the 20th Anniversary NTEA Work Truck Show in Indianapolis, IN on March 4th – 6th. The show features the latest advancements in technology in the work truck industry, and AAG will have their new aftermarket autogas system on display in a 2020 Ford F250 7.3 8v in the PERC (Propane Education and Research Council) booth.

This Bi-Fuel engine will provide an average savings of $1.00 per gallon on fuel and extend operating range over 700 miles between refueling, giving fleets an added advantage of not servicing complicated emission control systems or buy DEF fluid, as with diesel engines. 

Ed Hoffman, President of Blossman Services (the distribution partner for Alliance AutoGas systems) says, “It is exciting to finally see a modern high torque engine in the marketplace. With our Alliance AutoGas engineered system, this engine will offer a diesel-like performance at a fraction of the cost.” The autogas powered truck will be on display in the PERC booth (#5591) throughout the Work Truck Show.

When speaking on the upcoming event, Tucker Perkins, President and CEO of PERC, said, “PERC is proud to have AAG in our booth, displaying the latest engine technology from Ford and showcasing the benefits of propane. This technology is a great example of innovation, providing benefits of reduced operating costs to fleets that choose it, while offering significant benefit to the community in cleaner air and quieter streets.”

For more information, please contact Jessica Johnson, Partner and Projects Liaison, at jcjohnson@allianceautogas.com