Davidson County Cuts Fuel Costs with Clean Propane Autogas Buses
LEXINGTON, N.C. – May 14, 2012 – Davidson County Transportation is saving thousands on fuel costs and improving community air quality with 10 propane autogas buses. Autogas vehicle conversions and an onsite fuel station were provided by Asheville-based Alliance AutoGas, which also helped the fleet secure grant funding from the N.C. Solar Center.
“Not only have our drivers been very pleased with the performance of the autogas-powered buses, these green vehicles are also saving taxpayer dollars,” said Davidson County Transportation Manager George Hodges. “We saved about $1500 in fuel costs running on propane autogas the first month alone, and we also expect to have reduced maintenance needs in the long run since autogas is a cleaner-burning fuel than gasoline.”
Out of 15 vehicles in the Davidson County fleet, 10 E450 vans (18-20 passenger light-transit vehicles) have been running on clean-burning autogas since February 2012, with another two larger, 22-passenger vehicles slated for conversion this summer. Alliance AutoGas founding partner Blossman Gas guided the fleet through the entire process, even installing an 800-gallon autogas fuel station at the fleet’s home base at no upfront cost, so Davidson County was able to start saving on fuel costs right away.
“Being a lifelong resident of Davidson County, I am very proud of the county management for taking a proactive approach to combating high fuel prices and our nation’s dependence on foreign oil,” said Jimmy Daley, General Manager of Blossman Gas in Lexington.
Running fleets on propane autogas reduces harmful pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions, lowers fuel costs by around $1.50 per gallon, and enhances our nation’s energy security because 98 percent of the U.S. supply is made in America. Autogas is 30 percent cleaner than gasoline and is more affordable to implement than other alternative fuels on the market. For example, converting a vehicle to compressed natural gas (CNG) costs three times as much as converting a vehicle to autogas, and CNG fueling stations cost around 15 times as much as autogas stations.
“I supported converting our fleet to propane autogas specifically because it’s such a reliable and proven technology,” said Dwayne Childress, Davidson County Purchasing Director. “The fact we received a grant from the Solar Center to cover the cost of conversions, paired with the fuel station infrastructure at no additional cost through Alliance AutoGas, made switching to autogas a really good deal.”
The Alliance AutoGas complete program for fleets includes autogas vehicle conversions, installation of a fuel station at the fleet base, data integration for fuel management systems, operational and safety training, and ongoing technical support. Davidson County mechanics completed the Alliance AutoGas certification training in order to maintain the new autogas vehicles and continue converting additional county fleet vehicles to autogas.
About Alliance AutoGas
Alliance AutoGas enables fleet managers nationwide to use clean, economical, American-made autogas through vehicle conversions, on-site fueling and ongoing safety training and technical support. Public and private fleets are saving thousands on fuel costs and helping to ensure clean air for future generations through the Alliance AutoGas complete program. The Alliance partner network of U.S. propane marketers and conversion centers is experiencing tremendous growth, currently spanning 38 states. Learn more at: www.allianceautogas.com. For general questions, contact David Finder, National Energy Programs Manager, or (828) 251-0027.