Budget-conscious Wisconsin fleets turn to propane to reduce fuel costs
LANCASTER, Wis. – As high gasoline prices make alternative fuel an increasingly attractive option to fleets across the country, many in Wisconsin are discovering the most viable fuel is the same stuff that powers grills, mowers and home appliances: propane. Called “autogas” when used for vehicle applications, this affordable, American-made clean fuel is currently saving U.S. fleets around $1.75 per gallon on fuel costs.
Lancaster-based Charter Fuels is a part of Alliance AutoGas, which helps fleets switch to propane autogas through a complete program of vehicle conversions, fueling, on-site fuel station installation, staff training and ongoing support. Charter has worked with fleets across Wisconsin to reduce their fuel budgets by operating autogas vehicles, including small businesses such as Berres Brothers Coffee Roasters, Midwest Roofing and Construction, and Tarmann Transport, as well as law enforcement fleets like the Marinette Police Department and the Iowa County Sheriff’s Office.
Doug Pink, owner of Charter Fuels, says many fleets choose propane autogas to power their fleet vehicles because it’s more affordable to get up and running on autogas compared to other alternative fuels.
“Installing fueling infrastructure and purchasing new alternative fuel vehicles can be cost-prohibitive for fleets, even if it saves money in the long run,” says Pink. “However, it’s significantly less expensive to install autogas fuel stations and convert vehicles compared to other clean fuels. For example, at least 15 propane autogas stations can be built for the cost of just one natural gas station, which costs millions of dollars. Autogas stations can also be built quickly and, with financing through Alliance AutoGas, at no upfront cost to fleets. Autogas not only saves fleets money every time they fill up at the pump, it’s more cost-effective to switch to autogas in the first place.”
Propane autogas is the most widely used alternative fuel in the world, with around 18 million autogas vehicles on the road globally. Autogas is 30 percent cleaner than gasoline, so autogas vehicles require fewer oil changes than traditional gasoline or diesel vehicles. The U.S. supply of propane autogas is largely domestically produced, with 98 percent made in America, so fleets running on autogas are supporting our nation’s energy security.
“Autogas is a solid choice for vehicle fleets, not only because it cuts fuel costs, but because it’s a dependable fuel that doesn’t affect vehicle performance,” says Pink. “For businesses and government fleets that demand reliability from their vehicles, diminished performance can be a deal-breaker when considering the switch to clean fuel. But with autogas, the only change in vehicle performance is a quieter ride and a cleaner engine.”
Public and private fleets nationwide are saving thousands on fuel costs and helping to keep the air clean for future generations through Alliance AutoGas. For fleets interested in new propane autogas-powered vehicles, Alliance also provides OEM vehicles and buses from major U.S. manufacturers as part of the complete program. The Alliance partner network of propane marketers and conversion centers is experiencing tremendous growth, spanning 40 states, Washington D.C., and all of Canada.
About Charter Fuels
Family owned and operated for four generations, Charter Fuels has provided the communities it serves with reliable warmth, expert energy solutions and greater peace of mind for more than 88 years. It has branches servicing 46 counties across Wisconsin, upper Michigan, northern Illinois, eastern Iowa and eastern Minnesota. Active in the local community, Charter Fuels donates profits from its pink propane delivery truck in conjunction with the American Breast Cancer Foundation’s “Pink-Ribbon” campaign. Visit www.charterfuels.com for more information.