Marker blog

The annual Alternative Clean Transportation Expo is being held in Washington D.C. this week, where movers and shakers in the alternative fuel and fleet industries will gather to share knowledge about the latest clean technologies and trends. This year’s expo is notable because it’s kicking off today with a 2pm event sponsored by the Propane Education and Research Council called “Lead the Way: A Propane Autogas Event.” What better way to commence a gathering of the nation’s leading authorities on alternative fuel and transportation than to put the spotlight on the most viable fuel for fleets?

Propane autogas is the most widely used alternative fuel in the world, powering more than 21 million vehicles globally. The “Lead the Way” autogas event will cover refueling infrastructure pitfalls, how switching vehicle fleets to autogas can benefit taxpayers, insight on financing for alternative fuel fleet programs and more. Policymakers and public and private fleet managers are encouraged to attend to learn more about autogas, the most viable fuel for fleets.

Autogas for America founder Stuart Weidie will speak during the ACT Expo on Wednesday, June 26, during a 3:30pm panel called: “Fueling the AFV Revolution: Updates on Rapidly Expanding AFV Infrastructure Networks across North America.” His presentation, titled, “The Cost-Effectiveness of Propane Autogas Refueling Infrastructure, Present and Future,” will provide expert insight on just how affordable and easy it is for fleets to get up and running on propane autogas, with a focus on building autogas fuel stations. (For example, did you know it can be 15 times more expensive to build a CNG fuel station vs. an autogas station?) In fact, infrastructure for natural gas is so cost prohibitive, some even wonder if it will ever really catch on with more American drivers.

A variety of propane autogas vehicle technology will be on display during the ACT Expo, which runs June 24–27 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. ROUSH CleanTech will showcase a propane-powered Ford F-650, CleanFUEL USA will display a GM 4500 chassis and PERC will have a Liberator 6.0-liter engine, as well as autogas dispensers.

In addition to propane autogas, the Alternative Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo represents all alternative fuel types on the market, including electric, hybrid, hydrogen, natural gas, and renewable fuels. As North America’s largest alternative fuel and clean vehicle technology conference and expo, the ACT Expo provides direct access to the latest OEM and technology products, offering a one-stop shop for fleet managers to learn about the wide-range of solutions available.

Don’t forget to like Autogas for America on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to receive daily autogas updates.

If you liked this post, you might also like these posts:
Marker blog

The monitoring program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports the level of carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere has passed a troubling milestone, reaching an average daily level above 400 parts per million. (That’s bad, in case you were wondering.) It’s what one New York Times article calls “a sobering reminder that decades of efforts to bring human-produced emissions under control are faltering.”

Carbon dioxide is the most important heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere, and this concentration of the gas has not been seen on Earth for at least three million years. Scientists say this high level will likely cause massive climate changes and encourage rising sea levels.

But, as Pennsylvania State University climate scientists Richard B. Alley puts it: “If you start turning the Titanic long before you hit the iceberg, you can go clear without even spilling a drink of a passenger on deck. If you wait until you’re really close, spilling a lot of drinks is the best you can hope for.”

So, how can we help turn the tide and avoid this disastrous outcome?

Running more vehicle fleets on domestic clean fuel is vital to supporting clean air, not only today, but for generations to come. Fuels like propane autogas, natural gas, biofuels and hybrid-electric vehicle technology help protect the health of our environment by drastically reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions compared vehicles that operate on gasoline or diesel.

Autogas is one of the lowest total carbon emissions fuels, with a 20 percent reduction in GHGs versus conventional fuels. For example, the City of Newport News in Virginia eliminates more than 11 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually operating just  22 autogas fleet vehicles. Propane autogas is also one of the most cost-effective alternative fuel options for fleets, not only in terms of fuel price per gallon, but also in regards to the upfront cost of implementation. In fact, it’s actually possible to build 15 autogas stations for the price of just one CNG station and convert two light-duty vehicles to run on autogas for the price of just one light-duty CNG vehicle conversion.

Autogas is a widely available, American-made, clean-burning fuel that will help ensure clean air for our communities. Not only that, propane autogas is without a double the most viable fuel for fleets who want to reduce emissions and fuel costs without breaking the bank on expensive fueling infrastructure or vehicles. Cleaner air is within our grasp–it’s up to America’s vehicle fleets to get the ball rolling by switching to domestic clean fuel like autogas.

Don’t forget to like Autogas for America on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to receive daily alternative fuel news and views.

Marker blog
Posted by admin at 3:54PM on 4/17/2013 with tags:

The Propane Council of Texas is spreading the word about clean, American-made propane autogas with its new “Fueling Texas” campaign, designed to educate fleet operators, government officials, lawn and landscape contractors and the public about the benefits of running vehicles and equipment on autogas.

Fueling Texas will feature a series of statewide presentations and roadshows to provide Texans a hands-on experience with autogas technology. The new website provides information on fueling with autogas, including available grant funding, logistical details, upcoming ride-and-drive opportunities and more.

Many Texas fleets are already saving money on fuel costs and reducing emissions by operating on propane autogas, including small and large businesses across the state, airports, taxi services, the Texas Department of Transportation, and 75 school districts, from small towns in East Texas to major metropolitan areas like Dallas. These clean school bus fleets in particular are saving millions in fuel costs, in addition to rebates from the 50-cents-per-gallon federal alternative fuel tax credit.

Williamson County near Austin began converting fleet vehicles to propane autogas in 2009 for its county constables, emergency medical services and parks department. Today, the county is saving around $73,000 on fuel costs with eight dedicated-autogas fuel systems and 26 bi-fuel autogas conversions.

“Vehicle fleets that use autogas save an average of 30-50 percent on fuel costs compared to fleets that use gasoline or diesel,” said ProCOT Education and Marketing Director Jackie Mason in a press release. “Plus, 98 percent of the U.S. propane autogas supply is made in America, and Texas is home to the world’s largest propane storage capacity. Choosing autogas contributes to a greener, stronger economy on both a national and state level.”

Visit to learn more, especially if you’re a Texas fleet considering the switch to American-made alternative fuel! And don’t forget to find Autogas for America on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to receive daily autogas updates.

Marker blog

As more U.S. drivers move toward alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles instead of gasoline, several state governments are tackling an important question: how do we pay for transportation infrastructure funded by diminishing gasoline taxes while not punishing those who opt for cleaner transportation?

No one is a fan of raising taxes, whether it’s the gasoline tax or fees for alternative fuel vehicles, but we can no longer depend on the gasoline tax to fund our nation’s transportation needs. On one hand, this is a good thing; it means we’re decreasing our reliance on gasoline for vehicle fuel and increasing our nation’s energy security. On the other hand, the money has to come from somewhere—and it’s becoming increasingly clear that taxing drivers of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles is not the answer. Part of the allure of switching to alternative fuel or purchasing an electric vehicle is the promise of eventual cost-savings, and any move to tax these drivers is sure to be met with resistance.

The state of Virginia, for example, has legislation approaching ratification that would replace the gasoline tax of 17.5 cents per gallon with a 3.5 percent wholesale tax on motor fuels and a $64 annual fee on hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles (down from $100 as part of a compromise). While this was meant as a way for clean vehicle drivers to continue contributing to the state’s transportation fund, some criticize the so-called “hybrid tax” as detrimental to adoption of clean fuel vehicles, petitioning the legislature to eliminate the tax from the bill.

Other states struggling to address transportation funding in the new era of alternative fuel and fuel-efficient vehicles include IndianaMaryland, and New Jersey. In Florida, a group is proposing to tax drivers for every mile they drive in order to make up for an estimated $74 billion shortfall in funding for necessary transportation projects. West Virginia is considering a similar program; however, Minnesota recently tried this and found the tracking technology lacking. Even the federal government is grappling with the question of how to increase funding for important transportation initiatives without raising taxes. However, as an article in Politico recently pointed out:

The most obvious, simple and straightforward solution would be to raise the 18.4-cents-per-gallon gasoline tax, which hasn’t budged since the last time it was raised in 1993. But that’s also the most politically difficult option. As a result, a gas tax increase has become the third rail of transportation policy, sending lawmakers of all political stripes — Democrats as well as Republicans — fleeing.

We are certain to see this issue played out on both the state and national level. Solutions will most likely be a matter of trial and error as part of the growing pains of collectively switching to domestic clean fuel. Luckily for drivers of vehicles that run on affordable American-made fuels like propane autogas, fuel cost savings are significant and, in many cases, immediate. While a $64 fee may negate any savings a driver of an electric-hybrid vehicle sees in a year, autogas vehicle drivers can save thousands annually on fuel costs alone.

Follow us on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more alternative fuel vehicle news and views.

*All images courtesy of East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition.*

Marker blog

The New Year kicked off with good news for alternative fuel fleets: the “fiscal cliff” bill passed by Congress includes the extension of previously expired federal tax credits for alternative fuels and alternative fueling infrastructure. The rebates, which had expired at the end of 2011, have now been extended through 2013 and also made retroactive for the year 2012. Fleets that converted vehicles to clean fuel or installed an alt fuel station last year are in luck, and those that have been thinking about making the switch…read on!

One tax credit allows clean fleets to recoup 50 cents per gge (gasoline gallon equivalent) specifically for the alternative fuels propane autogas (LPG), compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquid natural gas (LNG). The other provides a 30 percent credit on fueling infrastructure for any alternative fuel, on up to $30,000 per facility.

Though propane autogas is already affordable for fleets to implement without federal funding [see our recent post “America’s most cost-effective and practical clean fuel succeeds despite lack of government support”], this is still great news in terms of encouraging the use of domestic alternative fuel in the U.S. transportation sector. Fleets that have already made the transition to clean fuel will recoup enough money to add even more alt fuel vehicles over the next year. For fleet operators that have thought about converting to an alternative fuel but worried about the upfront cost, these tax credits may just be the extra incentive (pardon the pun) they need to take that first step toward greening their vehicles and saving on fuel costs in the long run.

If you’re a fleet operator considering making the switch to alternative fuel in 2013, we encourage you to do your research to decide on the most practical fuel for your fleet. The Alternative Fuel Fact Briefs available on the Autogas for America website provide a side-by-side comparison of propane autogas versus natural gas electric vehicles and gasoline, so you can see how each fuel stacks up in the areas of cost, emissions reduction and overall viability.

Here’s to a greener 2013 for American fleets—happy saving!

Marker blog
Posted by admin at 10:57AM on 11/2/2012 with tags:

This month’s guest post on the topic of diversifying our nation’s transportation fuel comes from stakeholder Alliance AutoGas, originally published on their blog, Autogas Fleet.

This week our thoughts are with the millions of Americans and families impacted by Hurricane Sandy. In the wake of such extensive damage, we are reminded of the fragility of our nation’s energy infrastructure and of the very real risks associated with dependence on foreign oil and monopolized transportation fuels.

In the aftermath of a natural disaster, the agility of state and local emergency responders is more critical than ever. But events like this week’s storm can threaten the dependability of our fuel supply. That’s just one reason many law enforcement agencies have seen significant success with propane autogas.

Autogas is American-made and costs significantly less than gasoline, but it is also a highly portable fuel that can be readily relied upon in times of critical need. Autogas proved the best answer for Sheriff Stan Evans of Jackson County, who wanted a supplementary fuel supply for his deputies. After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Sheriff Evans came face-to-face with the threat fuel scarcity could pose, particularly for emergency responders in states directly impacted by such a catastrophic event.

Evans appreciated the reliability of propane autogas supply and the flexibility afforded by autogas vehicle technology. The Jackson County sheriff vehicles use the bi-fuel Prins system from Alliance AutoGas so deputies can switch readily between autogas and gasoline as needed. And with fuel cost savings of $1.50 per gallon with autogas, as well as a 30 percent reduction in harmful emissions, it’s no wonder the Sheriff’s office has transitioned well over half of its vehicle fleet to run on autogas.

This week has presented a solemn reminder of our vulnerabilities; but we are optimistic that as our nation’s energy portfolio diversifies to include more of clean and domestically produced transportation fuels like propane autogas, we will be better equipped for the road ahead.

Marker blog

The federal government is focusing on achieving higher fuel efficiency vehicle technology by implementing new CAFE standards that will nearly double vehicle fuel economy to 54.5 miles per gallon by the year 2025. While the new standards make exceptions for certain alternative fuel applications, propane autogas vehicles were overlooked. However, there’s already a movement among our nation’s fleets–the small businesses, law enforcement agencies, municipalities and transportation services out there–to adopt this clean, American-made fuel that’s affordable to implement and ready to use, today.

Propane autogas is gaining momentum with American fleets because it’s the most practical and cost-effective clean fuel on the market. Not only can autogas stations be implemented for a fraction of the expense of other alternative fuel infrastructure, they can also be built quickly and at no upfront cost to fleets. Autogas has averaged $1.45 less per gallon than gasoline over the past five years.

Proponents of other alternative fuels lobby the government for support to make their clean fuel technology viable, while thousands of fleet vehicles across the country are already saving money on fuel costs, and achieving a faster ROI, by converting to autogas.

Recent examples of U.S. autogas market growth include:

  • multiple Texas school districts switching their buses to propane autogas through CleanFUEL USA, which recently announced more than 37 new or expanded contracts with Texas ISDs for autogas refueling infrastructure equipment.

  • the Alliance AutoGas network expanding internationally to give Canadian fleets access to its complete autogas vehicle conversion and refueling program.

  • states like Mississippi, which is running several public fleet vehicles on autogas, and Indiana, which is converting hundreds of government fleet vehicles to autogas and implementing 115 autogas stations across the state.

Despite autogas being the most cost-effective, easy-to-implement clean fuel, the popularity and government favoritism of CNG will remain an obstacle. According to a recent report from Pike Research, “even though [CNG] fuel is much more difficult (and more expensive) to handle than autogas, it looks as if CNG will attract the majority of the incentives from many governments around the world.” But whether or not natural gas lobbyists achieve continued favoritism among legislators, propane autogas will always have an advantage as the only practical clean fuel that fleets can already affordably adopt.

The bottom line is, the federal government may be ignoring the most viable alternative fuel on the market, but America’s fleets certainly aren’t.

If you liked this post, you might also like these posts:
Marker blog
Posted by admin at 8:30AM on 7/24/2012 with tags: , , ,

Veolia Transportation, a major public transporation manager in the U.S., has announced it is converting some 300 taxis to run on propane autogas. Earlier this spring, the company organized a big to-do that included Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and U.S. Sen. Ben Hardin.

“MotorWeek,” a long-running PBS show that features automotive and alternative transportation fuel news from accross the country, was able to film part of the event. Autogas for America Founder and Alliance AutoGas President Stuart Weidie was also on hand, and optimistic about the future of the industry. “What we’re seeing is exponential growth in terms of the adoption of propane autogas in fleets. They realize that it’s got these positive benefits,” he said.

Watch the MotorWeek clip below to see footage of the Baltimore event.


Marker blog
Posted by admin at 9:00AM on 5/31/2012 with tags:

The Southeast Propane Autogas Development Program released a brand new video last week, covering the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia and their switch to clean, affordable and domestic propane autogas. Check it out and share with anyone who might be interested in saving money on fuel (it’s only about four minutes long).

Marker blog
  • Electric vehicles aren’t “zero-emissions” as advertised. Sure, EVs may have no tailpipe emissions, but when an EV plugs in, where does the energy come from? The fact is, almost 50 percent of our nation’s electricity is produced by coal. According to one new study, half of an EV’s lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions are produced during the manufacturing and shipping phase.
  • Alternative vehicle fuels aren’t just better for the environment, they’re better for your health. In some states, vehicle emissions constitute the largest source of air pollution like smog and ozone, which can lead to respiratory and other health issues. That’s why the American Lung Association promotes alternative fuel use.
  • Current technology cannot affordably harness enough renewable energy power to meet electricity demand. Also, while wind and hydro power are considered by some to be viable energy sources, researcher and author Vaclav Smil contends that these two sources could only supply a small portion of future energy demand. Together, all renewable energy sources only constitute 8% of current worldwide energy supply, according to Smil’s book.
  • Biofuels, such as ethanol, are not feasible future energy sources. With the challenges that global food supply is currently facing, we can no longer afford to use food as vehicle fuel while other alternatives are available. Many experts have linked redirected food supply used for producing corn-based ethanol to rising tortilla and livestock feed prices. “Ethanol is taking a larger and larger share of [corn] production,” says one agricultural economist.

To learn more about the differences between alternative fuels, view our Alternative Fuel Fact Briefs online.

PHOTO SOURCE: Project Seed

If you liked this post, you might also like these posts: