Alliance AutoGas (AAG) participated at the 2019 Minnesota Farmfest on August 6-8 in Redwood County, MN. The festival strives to bring together the best in agribusiness from Minnesota and around the country. The site featured 50 acres of land to showcase products, services, and technologies from over 500 exhibitors and vendors.
AAG presented their aftermarket alternative fuel technology in a 2015 Ford F-150 powered by propane autogas. Butch Cox, Alternative Fuel Consultant for AAG said “We were pleased to see the awareness generated for propane autogas vehicles during the festival. The majority of attendees we had conversations with were not aware you can run propane on trucks.”
Cox also discussed that consumers were interested to learn that our system was bi-fuel, which gives the option to operate on gasoline or autogas. 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 the event that a driver has traveled out of range of an autogas refueling station, the vehicle is capable of running on gasoline with the push of a button.
Propane-powered farm equipment is already known for being cost-saving, highly efficient, and environmentally friendly. Now, add the 2019 Propane Farm Incentive Program and farmers can save even more on their purchase. For additional information regarding the 2019 Propane Farm Incentive Program, visit HERE.
With August in full swing, kids across the country are embarking on another school year. As of last year, more than 900,000 students across 48 states ride propane autogas buses to school. While the numbers are impressive, they really aren’t surprising once you consider the benefits of propane autogas buses. Alliance AutoGas has five reasons on why school transportation departments should be choosing propane autogas over all other fuels.
1. Quieter During Operation – Compared with diesel engines, propane autogas engines are noticeably quieter when operating, which has a big impact on safety. Bus drivers are responsible for students’ safety during transportation. A quieter bus allows bus drivers to perform their jobs in a much less chaotic environment. It also allows the driver to monitor students in the rear of the bus and take quick action in an emergency.
2. Reduced Emissions – After more than a year of testing, researchers from West Virginia University concluded emissions measured from propane school buses are significantly lower than those from diesel buses. The study’s results demonstrated that distance-specific NOx emissions measured from the diesel bus were significantly higher than those measured from the propane bus for tests conducted in early 2018. For more information on the emissions measured from West Virginia University, click HERE.
3. Lower Cost for Schools – Propane autogas provides the lowest total-cost-of-ownership of any fuel option. Several factors contribute to propane autogas low total cost-of-ownership, including reduced fuel and maintenance costs, and accessible infrastructure. Autogas is consistently between 30 to 50 percent less than the fuels fleet owners are transitioning away from, gasoline and diesel, and an annual fuel contract with a propane retailer can lock in your fuel price for added stability.
4. Reliability – Autogas buses can handle the harsh weather that winter brings, including freezing temperatures. With a fleet of diesel buses, drivers have to arrive two hours early to get buses warmed up and running. In some cases, they will plug buses into block heaters, which increases energy bills. After making the switch to propane autogas, buses will start with the turn of a key, even in below-freezing temperatures.
5. Propane is Local – Unlike the competition, propane is a clean-burning, domestic fuel. Propane retailers are small business owners and members of the community the school district serves, so it’s another way to keep school district dollars in the community.
Sharp Energy, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation (NYSE.CPK), was recently selected by the Eastern Pennsylvania Alliance for Clean Transportation (EP-ACT) as a recipient of EP-ACT’s Industry Support Award.
Sharp Energy joined the growing Alliance AutoGas network in 2012 to help more East Coast vehicle fleets switch to clean, affordable, propane autogas. Their autogas fueling stations are developed in partnership with Alliance AutoGas, a national network of over 120 companies who deliver alternative fueling solutions, including EPA-certified autogas vehicle conversions, on-site fueling infrastructure, fuel supply, and on-going technical support.
Sharp was nominated and selected by EP-ACT’s nominating committee to receive the award for its support of alternative fuels and technologies. Sharp calls propane autogas a cost-efficient, flexible fuel that results in a 60% reduction of carbon dioxide compared to gasoline. With 48 propane autogas stations in operation in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Florida, Sharp has deployed 87 propane-powered vehicles within its fleet, displacing approximately 155,000 gallons of gasoline annually.
“We are strongly committed to operating our business in the most environmentally responsible manner, and that’s what our customers want from us,” says Andy Hesson, vice president of Sharp Energy. “This award highlights our focus on sustainability by offering our customers a clean and reliable alternative vehicle fuel such as autogas.”
Alliance AutoGas will be participating at the 2019 Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference August 7th and 8th at the Durham Convention Center in Durham, NC. With over 50 speakers and more than 40 exhibitors, this event will highlight industry-leading sustainable fleet practices and alternative fuel opportunities. Featured speakers include Alliance AutoGas president Stuart Weidie and Ed Hoffman, president of Blossman Services – the technology distribution partner of Alliance AutoGas.
Weidie will be speaking on the Fleets & Advanced Mobility Solutions Panel in Junior Ballroom B-D at 10:00 a.m. on August 7th. Additionally on August 7th, Hoffman will speak on the Trends in Advanced Fuels and Fueling Breakout Session in Junior Ballroom A beginning at 2:45 p.m. Alliance AutoGas will have two booths at the conference (booth #27 & #28).
Participants will have the ability to speak with an autogas expert and see autogas technology on-site in a converted 2019 Ford F-750 and 2014 Ford Explorer. The Ford F-750 is owned and operated by Alliance AutoGas customer, the City of Danville, VA. Throughout the conference, the truck will be located in the North Carolina Propane Gas Association booth. The Ford Explorer will be located near the Alliance AutoGas booth, in the center aisle.
“It is exciting to see the numerous vehicle options available for fleets to reduce their carbon intensity,” says Ed Hoffman. “Autogas is well-positioned to serve work truck and transit operators’ needs with no compromises to vehicle utility, reliability, and uptime. Autogas is the only carbon-reducing option that offers immediate cost savings while helping with sustainability.”
Alliance AutoGas participated at the 2019 Georgia Sheriffs’ Summer Conference last week at Lake Lanier Islands, GA. The conference held seminars and workshops covering all facets of the responsibilities and challenges faced by sheriffs’ offices, including how to cut costs on fuel without limiting officers’ capability to protect and serve.
The annual conference highlighted the traction that propane autogas is starting to see with agencies in the state of Georgia. Attendees of the conference discussed the major benefits of autogas, starting with the positive impact it has made on departments and their budgets. Reduced emissions and being powered by a domestic fuel were also popular topics when discussing autogas.
Fleets around the state of Georgia are touting the benefits of fueling with autogas. DeKalb County Fleet Management Department was ranked #1 last year in “The 100 Best Fleets in the Americas.” The county starting integrating propane autogas sedans and pickup trucks into their fleet in 1998. Today, DeKalb County has 93 light-duty vehicles and 11 pieces of off-road equipment powered by propane autogas. To read about DeKalb County and other municipal fleets having success with their autogas programs, click here.
Each year since 1985, Americans have celebrated National Park and Recreation Month during July to recognize the important role parks have in establishing and maintaining a positive quality of life. Parks across the United States are contributing to the physical, economic, and environmental well-being of their local cities and towns.
As Park and Recreation Month is coming to an end, we would like to highlight one of our favorite parks (and autogas customers), the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site! Located in the village of Flat Rock, NC, this historic site preserves the home of the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and writer, Carl Sandburg. The 264-acre site includes the Sandburg residence, a goat farm, rolling pastures, mountainside woods, 5 miles of hiking trails on moderate to steep terrain, two small lakes, several ponds, flower and vegetable gardens, and an apple orchard.
Alliance AutoGas (AAG) and the Carl Sandburg Home have had a partnership since December of 2018, when AAG converted two of their Ford F-150 trucks to run on autogas. The conversions took place at AAG’s Research and Development Facility in Asheville, NC. In addition to the trucks, the historic site also has a propane-powered shuttle used to transport attendees on the property. Initially, AAG trained the park staff to fuel and drive autogas vehicles safely. Today, AAG still provides annual inspections on the vehicles twice a year.
Much of the success of alternative fuels in National Parks can be attributed to the partnerships between parks and Clean Cities coalitions. Clean Cities started in 1993 by the U.S. Department of Energy to foster the economic, environmental, and energy security of the United States by working locally to advance affordable fuels. In 2010, Clean Cities launched the National Parks Initiative to put alternative fuel vehicles on the road to improve air quality and promote the use of domestic energy sources. The Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site is one of the many parks partnered with their local Clean Cities coalitions to help clear the air and make their community more “green” through reduced emissions with autogas!
AAG continues to work with National Parks and Clean Cities coalitions to implement sustainable solutions to fuel fleets with a clean, domestic alternative fuel. For additional information regarding clean energy for National Parks, visit HERE.
Alliance AutoGas will be participating at the 2019 National Sheriffs’ Association Conference June 16th – 18th at the Kentucky International Convention Center, in Louisville, KY. The conference will hold over 60 seminars and workshops covering all aspects of the responsibilities and challenges faced by sheriffs’ offices, including how to cut costs on fuel without limiting officers’ capability to protect and serve.
The answer can be found in propane autogas, a domestic fuel that meets performance needs, reduces fuel costs, and easily incorporates into their existing facilities. Alliance AutoGas will have a booth at the conference beginning Sunday, June 16th (booth #701). Participants will have the ability to speak with an autogas expert and see autogas technology on-site in an autogas powered Law Enforcement edition Ford Explorer Interceptor.
Fleets around the country are touting the benefits of fueling with autogas. One fleet, the City of Kingsport, TN, has been using autogas since 2011. They have found their officers now requesting vehicles that run on propane autogas over gasoline because of the ease of refueling and operation, not to mention the reduced emissions and gallon to gallon fuel cost savings. To read about City of Kingsport and other municipal fleets having success with their autogas programs, click here.
If you are attending the National Sheriffs’ Association, please visit us in booth 701 to see how autogas can benefit your community!
Alliance AutoGas (AAG) will showcase leading-edge autogas hybrid technology at the 2018 Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference & Expo August 22nd through 23rd, 2018 at the Durham Convention Center. AAG engineers have designed an autogas electric hybrid to be introduced to the market with the 2017 Ford Fusion. This 2.0 liter, 4 cylinder vehicle will provide additional torque, reduced emissions and better fuel economy due to the innovative hybrid system.
AAG engineers pursued this partial electrification or “hybridization” project with the Ford Fusion with the intent to be prepared for larger hybrid vehicles that Ford is expected to produce in the future, such as the hybrid F-150. Both the Fusion and the F-150 are commonly used in large fleets. By offering a hybrid vehicle that has better fuel economy in the city than highway or in stop and go traffic where most fuel is consumed, AAG customers will experience increased cost savings and reduced emissions.
The technology used in the Fusion has an internal combustion engine with an electric drive motor in what is called a ‘series-parallel’ configuration. This means that both the engine AND electric motor can work together to propel the vehicle. Because AAG uses a mono-fuel port injected vapor system in a port fuel injection engine, replacing gasoline completely with propane autogas, the two technologies are working together to reduce emissions and fuel consumption.
Alliance AutoGas president, Stuart Weidie announced the release by saying, “We are pleased to differentiate Alliance AutoGas in the alternative fuel market as hybrid friendly. This vehicle is a precursor of many to come in the Ford family, and our company is committed to staying ahead of vehicle technology. We want to provide autogas users with the best possible resources for reducing emissions and costs on the market.” Weidie is also speaking at the event on Wednesday, August 22nd.
The Hybrid Ford Fusion will be on display at the Expo, with AAG representatives available to answer technology and fleet-specific questions.
The DeKalb County Fleet Management Department (Georgia) recently ranked #1 in “The 100 Best Fleets in the Americas.” The 100 Best Fleets in the Americas program recognizes and rewards peak performing fleet operations in North America. Out of the 38,000 fleets in North America that were considered for the award, DeKalb County was chosen for “distinguished customer service, sustainability practices and employee training.” The award was announced at the NAFA Institute and Expo in April 2018 in Anaheim, California.
The DeKalb County Fleet Management Department is a propane autogas customer of Blossman Gas of Douglasville, GA. Autogas is an important part of the county’s environmental stewardship program as propane, a clean American fuel, significantly reduces emissions when compared with both gasoline and diesel vehicles consistently over the lifetime of the vehicle. Autogas is also costs approximately $1 less per gallon than gasoline which substantially reduces fuel costs to the department’s budget. The DeKalb County Fleet has been a customer of Blossman Gas (a partner in the Alliance AutoGas international network) since 2009 and uses an average of 73,000 autogas gallons annually, making a forcible positive impact for the county/department by reducing emissions and fuel expenditure.
DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond recognizes the leadership of Robert Gordon, deputy director of fleet management in a statement, “His commitment to excellent service, environmental stewardship and creating a high-trust culture is an example for all of us to follow.”
Conrad Davis, Blossman Gas Branch Manager of Blossman in Douglasville, says, “It is a pleasure to work with the DeKalb County Fleet. They put real action behind their principles of utilizing a clean fuel by using autogas. With eight on-site fueling stations, they are extremely efficient in their fuel use. Their authentic commitment to environmental stewardship is an inspiration to many other organizations in our region.”
Alabama School System Receives Fleet Leadership Award
Mobile County Public Schools System (MCPSS) in Alabama was honored at the Southeast Diesel Collaborative’s 12th Annual Partners Meeting in Atlanta with a Fleet Leadership Award. This award recognized the School System’s commitment to improving air quality for children by using clean, alternative fuel. MCPSS has acquired 80 propane-powered school buses to replace old diesel-powered buses in its fleets. The school district put 30 new buses in service for the 2014-15 school year, and has shown a commitment to adding 50 buses with each new budget year. MCPSS transports 26,000 students to and from school daily. Each new bus will displace about 40,000 gallons of diesel and emit 150,000 fewer pounds of carbon dioxide over its lifetime.
Chad Chavers, Manager for Blossman Gas in Mobile and AAG Partner, will provide the autogas for the schools’ on-site fueling stations. Chavers says, “I am extremely excited about our partnership with the Mobile County Public Schools Systems. Superintendent Martha Peak and Transportation Director Pat Mitchell have been very forward thinking about the environmental impact of the 790 buses that the district operates. With no air conditioning, school leadership was very concerned about the amount of toxic emissions that the students breathe in the warmer months when the windows are down. MCPSS has seen a tremendous savings on the maintenance side vs diesel, and a nice savings on the fuel price vs diesel. The Mobile County Public Schools Systems was the first to purchase propane buses in the state of Alabama and continues to lead the way.”
AAG partners are looking forward to seeing more school districts follow the progressive example set by school districts such as MCPSS, whether by using available Volkswagen Settlement funds, or through using means from within their own communities. The decision to switch to alternative fuels, most notably autogas, is a decision that pays off in dividends both for immediate air quality improvement and overall cost of ownership. In addition, due to low investment costs for autogas infrastructure and a strong network of AAG fueling partners across the nation, school districts with one bus or 1,000 are equally able to appreciate the benefits of this alternative fuel.