Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fifty Propane Autogas Vehicles Hit the Roads in Florida, Georgia as Part of Department of Energy Clean Cities Alternative Fuel Program

/PRNewswire/ -- West Palm Beach, Florida-based Peninsula Propane and Pendergrass, Georgia-based Force 911 converted 50 vehicles from gasoline to clean propane Autogas last month as part of the groundbreaking Southeast Propane Autogas Development Program. The $8.6 million Recovery Act-funded Program will put nearly 1,200 propane Autogas vehicles on the road in nine Southeast states and Washington D.C., implement at least 20 refueling stations, and create dozens of American jobs.

"Thanks to our dedicated partners, we are making tremendous progress on the deployment of this extensive Program," says Chelsea Jenkins, the director of Virginia Clean Cities at James Madison University, which is managing the Program. "With the DOE funding and the Program participants who are leading the way in adopting alternative fuels, we are advancing the use of green fuels and technologies in the Southeast."

Peninsula Propane is an affiliate of a paratransit, shuttle and taxi company with more than 1,200 transport vehicles in South Florida. John Obeid, a Peninsula Propane managing partner, says the company became a certified propane Autogas vehicle conversion center more than a year ago because they're dedicated to reducing the area's vehicle emissions.

"Propane Autogas vehicles are cleaner than gasoline vehicles, and they have a history of lasting longer and saving fleets money," says Obeid. "Many of our vehicles chart 75,000 to 100,000 miles per year, so if we convert our vehicles to propane Autogas, and convert other Florida fleet vehicles, the displaced emissions and gasoline will add up quickly." Peninsula Propane converted 6 vehicles in August and is scheduled to convert a total of 250 of their vehicles.

Force 911 is a full-service law enforcement vehicle outfitter and a certified conversion center for the Program. The center works with government agencies to provide customized vehicles based on their specified needs, such as K9 transport systems, prisoner transport units, and bi-fuel propane Autogas vehicle conversions. Force 911 has already converted 44 vehicles from gasoline to propane Autogas for Carroll and Cobb County fleets in Georgia and is scheduled to perform more than 200 vehicle conversions under the Program.

Force 911 President Wayne Abbs says: "We are proud to be a part of this project and provide Georgia law enforcement agencies with low-emissions propane Autogas vehicles. Vehicle performance is paramount for officers, and propane Autogas vehicles provide virtually the same power as gasoline vehicles while reducing emissions and using a domestic fuel source."

Peninsula Propane and Force 911 were trained and certified by Alliance AutoGas, a national network that provides shovel-ready propane Autogas vehicle solutions to public and private fleets. Alliance AutoGas - with founding partners Blossman Gas (the largest independent propane supply company in the nation) and American Alternative Fuel (alternative fuel vehicle systems specialists) - is training technicians to perform the vehicle conversions for the Program, installing the refueling stations and supplying the propane Autogas fuel.

"Propane Autogas is a clean, domestic and cost-effective fuel that's available now, and this Program, along with the other ARRA-funded projects, are contributing more than 250 propane Autogas refueling stations to an already-strong national refueling network," says Stuart Weidie, Alliance AutoGas president and Autogas for America founder. "This project is making it easier for fleets to fuel up with Autogas, but it's also a major step toward bringing Autogas into the national alternative fuels discussion."

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