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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.

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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!

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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.

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Autogas and Gasoline Prices, 2009-2011

It’s no secret that gasoline is expensive, but what many Americans don’t know is the cost of the alternative. Autogas for America released a new Alternative Fuel Fact Brief on Aug. 24. The paper highlights how propane autogas, while as practical to use as traditional fuels, is cheaper and cleaner than gasoline. The study considers the big picture, pointing out that high gasoline prices are not just a burden to the individual consumer, but are crippling an economic recovery.

The study demonstrates that gasoline is not only an expensive resource, but also a volatile one. While the cost of gasoline nearly doubled in 2009, autogas prices remained low and relatively flat. Gas started at $2, and jumped all over the board from there. Historically, autogas has cost about $1.25 per gallon less than gasoline, when including a 50-cent-per-gallon federal alternative fuel tax credit. Some states even provide tax incentives for using alternative fuels like autogas.

For organizations already burdened by strained budgets, the high price of and uncertainty surrounding oil can complicate planning for the future. Everything from turmoil in the Middle East to declines in foreign reserves can drive up the price of oil. However, 90 percent of the U.S. autogas supply is made in America. While prices at the pump reflect instant savings for autogas fleets, autogas has also produced long-term savings. Vehicles running on autogas have been on American roads for years now, and real-world case studies show as much as $145,000 in annual fuel savings for fleets making the switch from gasoline to autogas.

The cost savings from autogas use offer more than just the immediate rollback for the consumer.  Lowering fixed costs like fuel expenses helps to create and save jobs, support a green energy economy and boost a company’s bottom line.

For a comprehensive look at the differences between autogas and gasoline, visit the Resources page of the Autogas for America website.



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A few weeks ago, we mentioned the misleading Nissan Leaf commercial that told the story of the gracious polar bear on his quest to thank those who drive green. Apparently Hollywood doesn’t mind that Nissan’s “zero emissions” push might not be accurate, because the commercial has received an Emmy nomination.

While this commercial does make the point that we should be doing all we can for the environment (including lowering emissions), it deceives viewers and polar bears alike. The ad claims the Nissan Leaf is “zero-emissions,” though that isn’t entirely true. Electric vehicles (EVs) may be (or may not be) better for the environment than conventional gasoline vehicles, but all they can claim is zero “tailpipe emissions.” The energy that powers their batteries is produced by a national energy mix that relies heavily on coal. In fact, according to the EPA’s blog, as of 2009, 20 U.S. states generated more than half of their energy from coal; states such as West Virginia, Indiana and Kentucky were generating more than 90 percent of their power from coal.

And the polar bear ad isn’t the only example of Hollywood and the mainstream media pushing alternative energy misconceptions. This Wall Street Journal article interviewing the director of the new Pixar movie “Cars 2” has him superficially remarking about alternative fuels, “Why isn’t everybody jumping on that bandwagon? It makes so much sense: Electricity, solar, whatever. There’s ethanol. There’s all this stuff you could be doing.”

In a way, he’s right – there is “all this stuff you could be doing,” but all his suggestions are currently unviable technologies. However, there are other options that are more viable than electric, ethanol, or hydrogen cars. Domestic alternative fuels such as propane autogas are clean, affordable and American made; OEM autogas vehicles and aftermarket vehicle conversions available right now.

Many alternative fuels are currently too expensive to implement or range and performance issues remain. Autogas is providing fleets the most bang for their buck, with autogas vehicles having up to 90 percent the range of gasoline vehicles and no loss in vehicle performance.

If the media truly wants to support alternative fuel technologies, they should do more research and figure out that EVs aren’t the only ones helping the environment.

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Electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers are working hard to get their say in today’s competitive alternative vehicle market, and now it looks like the cars themselves are going to have to speak up.

One of the more noticeable traits – maybe because it is not so noticeable – of an EV is that they produce almost no sound. However, due to concerns over safety, companies such as Warwick Manufacturing Group are designing and testing sounds to be added to EVs.

“Electric vehicles and hybrids are alarmingly quiet,” said Warwick’s Paul Jennings. “The concern is that as a road user, as a pedestrian or as a cyclist, we’re just not aware of their presence. And therefore there’s a real danger that there could be an accident.”

Jennings further explained that sounds they are testing range from regular “car” noises to sounds from “The Jetsons.” Once they have a noise, they test them in their car, named Elvin.

Clotaire Rapaille, consultant for the automotive industry, thought this idea sounded like music to her ears.

“Think of all the possibilities that are suddenly open,” she said. “We have different ring tones for different cell phones; we can have different sounds for different kinds of cars.”

While safety is important, noise emissions shouldn’t be the only thing that electric vehicles are worried about. In an article published on the American Fuel Facts blog, we describe how EVs may be worse for the environment than gasoline vehicles when energy-sapping batteries are factored into the equation.

Zero-noise and zero-emissions both sound nice, but it looks like neither may turn out to be in our future.

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Posted by admin at 12:52PM on 6/2/2011 with tags: , , , , , ,

We’ve started a new series of videos about alternative fuels. Autogas for America is proud to present “Is natural gas an affordable vehicle fuel?” This animated short video looks at the real cost of natural gas vehicles and infrastructure as compared to propane autogas.

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Posted by admin at 6:52PM on 5/25/2011 with tags: , , , , , , , ,

Autogas for America has launched a new series of informational “fact briefs” that compare and contrast certain alternative fuels. The first in the series, “American, Abundant… and Affordable?”, analyzes the viability of using natural gas (specifically, compressed natural gas) for light-duty vehicles. In addition, a complete cost comparison between propane autogas and CNG is provided.

We welcome your thoughts and questions. Post your comments below!

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Posted by admin at 6:51PM on 5/25/2011 with tags: , , , , , ,

See original article online here

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Posted by admin at 6:51PM on 5/25/2011 with tags: , , , ,

Source: City of Palm Desert

The city of Palm Desert, Calif. (in Riverside County), announced this week that they plan to convert a retrofitted CNG-powered ambulance back to diesel, after the vehicle failed to meet expectations.

“The ambulance, which was unveiled by the city in January 2010, only put out 82 miles per tank, well below the mandated average of 250 miles in Riverside County, according to Capt. Scott Visyak of the Riverside County Fire Department, which contracts with Palm Desert for its firefighting services.”


Range is one of the biggest obstacles for natural gas vehicles, as it must be compressed at up to 3600 psi in bulky, heavy tanks. According to a 2010 Department of Energy study titled “Issues Affecting Adoption of Natural Gas Fuel in Light- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles,” the most common type of CNG tank occupies 3 times the volume and weighs “4 to 5 times as much” as a same-capacity gas tank. Therefore, lower gallon-equivalent-capacity causes a reduced driving range.

The failed experiment came with no small price tag. “The ambulance initially cost the city $186,000 to convert the emergency vehicle, according to the city.”

Fortunately, the city won’t have to pay quite that much to convert the vehicle back to diesel. One month and another $78,000 later, they’ll have a regular ambulance again.