By Gary Thomas
Industry experts such as Blue Star Gas, an Alliance AutoGas partner, have provided insights into green transit technology like propane autogas technology at the 2012 Alternative Clean Transportation Expo conducted from May 15 to 17 at the Long Beach Convention Center.
An autogas-powered Ford Expedition was showcased by Blue Star Gas at the PERC booth of the Expo. Blue Star Gas’ Darren Engle delivered a presentation entitled ‘You've Got Options: Filling Up with the World's Most Popular Alternative Fuel’ during a panel discussion entitled ‘Integration of Alternative Fuel Refueling Infrastructure into the Existing Retail Environment.’ In the presentation, Engle discussed about autogas infrastructure and cost-efficient fueling alternatives for fleets.
According to Engle, since municipalities and businesses are continuously facing issues with increasing gasoline prices, propane autogas can be used as a low-cost, green alternative fuel to reduce fuel costs of fleets straightaway. Propane autogas is a 30% cleaner fuel when compared to gasoline and powers over 18 million vehicles worldwide. US autogas-powered fleets also play a role in improving the energy security of the country as 98% of the autogas supply in the US is American-made. Besides saving fuel costs, autogas-powered fleets require less maintenance.
Engle informed that many fleets have shown interest in autogas as its implementation costs are much lower than other alternative fuels available in the market. For instance, the cost of autogas vehicle conversion is three times lower than that of compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle conversion, while the cost of an autogas station installation is 15 folds lower than that of a CNG fueling station.
Blue Star Gas supplies autogas-powered fleets between California and Washington State. The Alliance AutoGas complete program for fleets comprises autogas vehicle conversions, fuel station installations at the fleet base, integration of data for fuel management systems, continuous technical support, and operational and safety training.