CleanFUEL USA has partnered with the City of Springfield, Ill., to convert 24 police patrol cars and pickup trucks to clean burning propane autogas.
These vehicles, which hit the road last week, will help the City save significantly on fuel costs in a short period of time, according to the City's return on investment analysis.
"We estimate our fuel savings in the first year alone to be more than $82,000," said Bill McCarty, director of budget and management for the City of Springfield. "Transitioning our fleet to propane autogas was an extremely easy decision to make because we are saving taxpayer dollars, improving the environment through cleaner auto emissions and supporting a domestically produced fuel source."
A recently installed on-site refueling station featuring a CleanFUEL USA CFT Pro 2100 autogas dispenser will fuel the vehicles, used by the City's public works department. The infrastructure for propane autogas refueling is less expensive than any other alternative fuel.
As part of the Natural Resources Defense Council's (NRDC) Smarter Cities Project, Springfield, Illinois has been named among a list of 22 municipalities that are leading the way as "top energy performers" in green power, energy efficiency and conservation. When compared with gasoline, vehicles fueled by propane autogas emit 20 percent less nitrogen oxide, 60 percent less carbon monoxide and up to 25 percent less greenhouse gases.
"Municipalities around the country like the City of Springfield are doing their research, talking to other fleets, calculating the savings and realizing that propane autogas is a winner," said Curtis Donaldson, founder and CEO of CleanFUEL USA. "With minimum upfront costs and substantial fuel savings, CleanFUEL USA's propane autogas fuel systems and dispensers are clear solutions for fleets looking to achieve both budget and sustainability goals."
The project was funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Energy Department's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Texas State Technical College serves as the lead grantee of the funds, which support the development of a national propane autogas refueling network, incentives to convert school buses and other fleet vehicles to alternative fuels and training for green jobs. This initiative will help displace millions of gallons of petroleum annually.
Propane autogas is the leading alternative fuel in the United States and the third most commonly used vehicle fuel, following gasoline and diesel. Propane autogas, which costs an average of 30 to 40 percent less than gasoline and about 50 percent less than diesel, burns cleaner in engines, resulting in reduced maintenance costs. More than 90 percent of U.S. propane supplies are produced domestically.
According to McCarty, savings from these initial 24 vehicles will influence the City's decision to add more vehicles fueled by propane autogas to its fleet, including police patrol cars.