Eaton County Running on Propane

Here’s a 60 second overview why companies and government agencies are switching to propane vehicles.

“I’ve reviewed a dozen presentations on electric, natural gas and many other alternative fuel vehicles and they have not made sense from a cost stand point— Then I looked at propane and the ROI numbers work,”

says Kent Austin, Eaton County Commissioner / Board member of the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission

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Picture from right: Kent Austin Eaton County Commissioner and Tri-County Regional Planning Commission Board member, Sgt. Paul Brenton Charlotte Police Department, Donna Webb Manager at EATRAN

The Michigan Propane Gas Association and it’s propane retailer are making bold, aggressive claims about the performance of propane fueled vehicles. Organizations with fleets of cars and truck are taking notice and like Eaton County Government are buying propane vehicles. But why?

“They perform better than electric vehicles and way better than natural gas vehicles.” says the Scott Underwood the association member who is leading the charge for the MPGA.

The federal government is propping up a number of alternative fueled vehicles while propane vehicles sell themselves. Even in the absence of federal incentives for alternative fuels from the federal government propane vehicles are selling themselves.

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Executive Director of MPGA, Derek Dallin

“It’s great that states and the federal government are offering incentives for alternative vehicles but propane is proven to have the best ROI,” said Derek Dalling Executive director of the Michigan Propane Gas Association.

More than 13,000 propane propane vehicles were sold in 2017 in the U.S. These new vehicles annually consume approximately 36.8 million gallons of clean propane autogas and will be replacing fuels with high emissions like gasoline and diesel.

Mother Earth Loves Propane Vehicles

Propane vehicles, known as Autogas, outperforms gasoline and diesel in the vast majority of studies comparing environmental performance that have been conducted around the world. Emissions are especially low with respect to noxious pollutants. With respect to greenhouse gas emissions, autogas performs better than gasoline and outperforms diesel on a full-fuel-cycle basis. Propane is an environmentally green byproduct of natural gas processing plants.

Vehicle Mechanics Love Propane Vehicles

There is a strong financial incentive to choose it over a conventional fuel.

Like other alternative fuels, propane is clean burning. Because of this propane engines operate two to three times longer than gasoline and diesel engines between tune-ups.

“I’ve sat through a dozen presentations on electric, natural gas and many other alternative fuel vehicles and they didn’t made sense from a cost stand point— Then I looked at propane and the ROI numbers work,” said Kent Austin, Eaton County Commissioner and Tri-County Regional Planning Commission Board member.

So How Big is Michigan’s Propane Vehicle Market?

Michigan has over 10,000 vehicles operating on propane that can be fueled at facilities throughout the state. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) recognizes propane as a clean burning alternative fuel. Tests demonstrate that propane emissions have 93% lower carbon monoxide, 73% lower hydrocarbons, and 57% lower nitrogen oxides than even the federal Clean Air Act standards.

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From right: Donna Webb is the Executive Director for EATRAN, Kent Austin, Eaton County Commissioner and Tri-County Regional Planning Commission Board member, Scott Underwood Alto Gas

Propane has more energy for each gallon of fuel compared to other alternative fuels.

When injected as liquid propane, its driving range is quite comparable to gasoline achieving over 90 percent of the driving range of gasoline. Based on equal fuel volume, propane has the longest driving range of all alternative fuels.

When Austin heard a propane vehicle presentation from Scott Underwood of Alto Gas it made him dig deeper in the ROI numbers—He liked what he saw. The results from other municipal government and private companies showed propane fuel is less expensive, cleaner burning and reduces maintenance costs.

If Eaton County converted just its small bus fleet to propane they would save approximately $100,000 year in fuel costs.

“Teslas, Volts, and Preus’ in a way get their fuel from coal burning power plants.” –Eaton County Commissioner and Board member of the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission

“Teslas, Volts, and Prius’s in a way get their fuel from coal burning power plants,” says Austin.

“I attend local government public meetings and introduced myself to local municipal leaders after the meetings. Fleet manager love it when they find out that propane is a domestic fuel and that our the propane engine conversion kits are Michigan made.” said Underwood.

Source facts/figures in the article in Supply & Demand Chain Executive magazine, Propane Education & Research Council, Michigan Propane Gas Association.

 

 

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