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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.

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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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Electric vehicles (EVs) have recently attracted significant attention from the media, politicians, and environmentalists, but do EVs really live up to everything their manufacturers promise? Autogas for America released a new Alternative Fuel Fact Brief on November 25, examining the evidence behind the industry’s claims that EVs are viable, cost-effective and “zero-emission.”

The study questions electric vehicle’s environmental record, considering the greenhouse gases emitted during EV manufacturing. It points out that while EVs have no tailpipe emissions, they charge on U.S. electric grids that draw 50 percent of their power from coal. The Fact Brief also casts doubt on the practicality of EVs for public and private fleets, citing the technology’s struggles with limited carrying capacity, limited driving range and the high cost of their charging infrastructure. The study warns that experts believe an increase in EVs could overburden an already strained electric grid.

While electric vehicles hold many benefits over vehicles running on traditional fuels, the Fact Brief encourages consumers to consider other alternative energies which have more verified environmental and economic benefits and a proven record in American fleets.

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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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Posted by admin at 4:51PM on 6/8/2011 with tags: , , , , ,

Securing our nation’s energy supply is imperative – most people would agree. Support for American-made alternative fuels (like autogas, natural gas and even responsibly produced biofuels) is important at all levels: individuals, corporations, and government agencies. You too can support domestic fuel. Shifting from gasoline to fuels like autogas will send OPEC a message: that they can’t decide what you pay to fill up anymore.

Sometimes the day’s news can bring it all home, can clearly illustrate the link between foreign oil and our wallets. Today was one of those days.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) failed to come to an agreement today over boosting oil output levels in the face of increased demand and high oil prices. Currently, OPEC’s members alone supply some 40 percent of the world’s oil. (Compare that, for example, to the fact that 90 percent of America’s autogas is produced domestically).

Iran’s petroleum minister was vocal in his opposition to increasing exports.The reason for the minister’s position? “The world remains well-supplied with oil, with ample spare capacity and adequate stock levels,” he said.

Whatever the current supply and demand configuration is (though it is a fact that OPEC supplies were disrupted earlier this year), it is well known that high-growth, industrializing countries like India and China are increasingly demanding more petroleum resources. As the United States and other industrialized nations remain dependent on foreign oil imports, competition for these resources will become more fierce.

OPEC’s apparent ambivalence at $100+/barrel oil might be explained another way. An oil analyst interviewed by the Washington Post posited that oil exporters are “more interested in cashing in on high oil prices right now than in stabilizing energy markets,” thanks in part to rigid demand.


Saudi Arabia seems to know what high oil prices might mean in the long-term, though: switching to domestically-produced alternative fuels. As the analyst put it, “They don’t want countries to turn to alternative fuels. They don’t want people on buses.”

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Posted by admin at 3:41PM on 6/2/2011 with tags: , , , , , , ,

With the introduction of the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf to the consumer market this year, electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers have ramped up advertising campaigns claiming these vehicles produce “zero emissions.” Nissan started with its Polar Bear ads, featuring a morose polar bear wandering away from its melting arctic habitat, winding up at the home of a Leaf owner, giving him a hug for going green.

The automaker even created a website named “Nissan – Zero Emission.” The image below is among the various rotating headers on the site. Are plug-in EVs really “Zero CO2″ emitters? We’ll answer that in a bit.

Nissan claims the Leaf is emissions-free

Next, Nissan asks us to imagine what the world would be like if everything was powered by gasoline. From alarm clocks to iPods to computers, the video shows us how dirty the air around us would become if it wasn’t for electricity. Renault, which has four EV models in production in Europe, created a similar ad.

None of these ads or websites makes it clear what actually sources the electricity to charge the car, however. Is it wind? Solar? Natural Gas?

Automakers are trying to define “zero emissions” vehicles as those that produce no “tailpipe emissions” in an effort to brand EVs as the greenest cars on the market. This is only part of the story, unfortunately. The following chart shows which fuels make up the average U.S. electricity grid mix.

Of course, the fuel mix for any particular region will vary, but this chart represents the average percentage of electricity sources used in America. In fact, according to the EPA, there were 24 states that used coal for 50% or more of their electricity fuel mix as of 2007.

We know we don’t have to tell you that an electric vehicle powered 50% by coal obviously isn’t a zero emissions vehicle. As more electricity comes from renewable and clean-burning sources like wind or natural gas, then PEVs can move toward becoming the environmental holy grail that manufacturers want them to be.


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Which alternative fuel?

Welcome to Alternative Fuel Facts, where we plan to clean up the alternative fuels industry.

You see, we’ve realized that there’s a lot of misinformation floating around the internet about various alternative fuels. Industry stakeholders sometimes exaggerate the viability of and downplay the uneven playing field for technologies and fuels like natural gas (CNG), ethanol, electric vehicles, hydrogen, biodiesel, and so on.

“You mean corporations and politicians may have been embellishing the facts and figures about things that are supposed to help us?” Why, yes, it’s true.

Before you go all “you’re just saying this because you’re a front for big, bad company” on us (which we’re not), let us clear the air:

  • We are not trying to say that these fuels don’t have their place in the market at all. They do. Each alternative fuel and technology has its place, has an application or applications for which it’s a great solution.
  • We are advocates for propane autogas used in light- and medium-duty vehicle fleet applications, because it’s the most effective, readily-available, affordable solution for these applications.
  • We think it’s ridiculous for someone to slap a “Zero Emissions” sticker on the side of an electric vehicle (EV), because it simply isn’t true. Where do they think the energy for EVs comes from?

Through our extensive research and experience in the alternative fuels industry, we’ve realized how little the general public actually knows about some of the most hyped technologies around.

  • Did you know that electric vehicles like the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf will be powered by electricity generated from, on average, 50% coal? And it ain’t the mythical “clean coal” variety either.
  • Did you know that despite CNG having a cheap per-gallon sticker price, we’ll have to fork over $1 million+ for each fast-fill fueling station in order to fuel a (very expensive) natural gas vehicle?
  • Did you know diesel fuel, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, coal-powered processing plants and oil are all parts of the process of making supposedly ‘green’ corn ethanol?

So stay tuned, folks – we’ll be revealing the truthiness about the alternative fuels hype.