ACT News 2017

Propane

LPG-Diesel Dual Fuel by Prins-Unigas

November 17, 2017 in Dual Fuel, milestones, Propane, propane autogas, Technology, trucking by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Heavy-Duty Dual Fuel Technology Progresses in Australia

New propane-diesel dual-fuel technology for heavy vehicles is on the cards in Australia after trials conducted by Unigas, Prins Autogassystemen and CMV Truck & Bus showed positive operational and environmental results over a two-year period.

Special to Fleets & Fuels by Unigas,
the propane autogas division of Elgas,
Australia’s largest marketer of propane,
aka LPG/liquefied petroleum gas.

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Roush: VW Monies Should Back Propane

November 2, 2017 in Opinion, Propane, propane autogas, Special to Fleets & Fuels, VW Settlement by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

‘Propane Autogas Makes Sense for VW Settlement Funding’

Special to Fleets & Fuels by Roush CleanTech VP Todd Mouw

States will soon have access to a windfall of funds from the Volkswagen settlement, which includes a $2.9 billion Environmental Mitigation Trust. These are funds that transit agencies, school districts and other businesses could potentially use to purchase propane autogas-fueled vehicles.

Reducing NOx is the Goal

The goal of the Environmental Mitigation Trust is to cost-effectively reduce smog-forming nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from the transportation sector. NOx are reactive gases that pollute the air, contribute to acid rain and can trigger health problems. Over the next 10 years, the trust will fund environmental mitigation projects that specifically reduce emissions of NOx.

All manner of vehicles run on propane autogas. The Volkwagen settlement, notes Roush CleanTech, could make for many more of them.



How does this affect purchasing decisions? Eligible projects for the Environmental Mitigation Trust include class 4-8 bus and class 4-7 medium-duty truck replacement. (VW’s settlement funding will be used to buy back or modify vehicles.)

Propane autogas-fueled transit shuttles, such as the Ford E-350/450 cutaway, and school buses, like the Blue Bird Vision Propane, would be eligible for this funding. Propane autogas is naturally lower in NOx and other toxic pollutants, like greenhouse gases and carbon monoxide, than diesel and gasoline.

Know the Latest on VW Funding

Earlier this year, Wilmington Trust was appointed as the trustee to oversee the administration of the Volkswagen settlement funds. The trustee effective date was established on October 2. Now, each state has 60 days from that date to determine and choose a beneficiary.

The beneficiary is the state-level government entity responsible for developing and awarding its state’s funds. They are state energy offices, environmental protection departments, etc.

Roush CleanTech VP Todd Mouw

Each state will receive a set amount of funding based on the number of affected vehicles sold in the state. State amounts vary from $8 million to $400 million. Refer to the state-by-state listing to see how much your state will receive.

Some states have already selected a beneficiary. You can find the current list on the VW Settlement Clearinghouse site. Once selected, the state beneficiary has 90 days to produce a draft plan for how the funds will be allocated. After the state files its mitigation plan, it must be made public for 30 days for comment. Then, the state’s plan will be sent to the trustee for approval.

Get Involved

If the state allocates funding toward propane autogas vehicles, funds from the Environmental Mitigation Trust could be available early next year. Learn who your state’s beneficiary is and talk with them about your organizations’ propane fleet goals. Be sure to comment during the public input period to make sure your voice is heard. Organizations will need to be prepared to adopt NOx-reducing propane vehicles once the money is released if they want to tap into the funding.

Todd Mouw is vice president of sales and marketing for Roush CleanTech, an industry leader of alternative fuel vehicle technology. Mouw has served as president of the NTEA Green Truck Association. Reach him at [email protected] or 800.59.ROUSH. To learn more, visit roushcleantech.com


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Source: Roush CleanTech with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

Icom Propane for Ford V-10 Certified

September 19, 2017 in certifications, Propane by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

California Nod for Engine for Big Ford E-450
And There’s a ‘One-Stop’ UPAS Upfit Program

Icom North America has secured California Air Resource Board certification of its dedicated liquid propane autogas fuel system for the Ford 6.8-liter Ford V-10 engine for E-450 vehicles.

“Owners and operators of shuttle vehicles and buses in California that utilize the Ford E450 V-10 engine will be able to significantly reduce operating costs and dramatically improve their emissions profile by converting to liquid propane autogas using Icom’s system” states a release.

And, Icom is promoting “one-stop solutions to reduce the complexity and costs associated with converting and maintaining propane autogas fleets” via a program with the United Propane Autogas Solutions Group.

The Icom-UPAS program incudes

  • installation of the Icom propane autogas system;
  • securing the supply of propane autogas fuel on attractive terms;
  • coordinating the installation of propane autogas fueling infrastructure (if needed); and
  • performing ongoing propane autogas system support and maintenance.


In addition to the recent CARB approval, Icom holds U.S. EPA certifications on over 1200 vehicle platforms. Customers include UPS, Yale University, SuperShuttle, Ace Parking, Metro Cars, the U.S. National Park Service, and the cities of Boston and Springfield, Ill. The company has more than 145 dealers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, and upwards of 400 fleet service points.

Jon Van Bogart is Icom’s fleet development specialist.


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Source: Icom North America with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

Tennessee’s CMCSS Gets Propane Buses

August 1, 2017 in Fleet Order, Propane, propane autogas, school buses by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

15 More Type C Blue Birds with Roush CleanTech Engines

The Clarksville-Montgomery County School System in Tennessee yesterday launched its new fleet of propane-autogas-fueled Type C Blue Bird school buses, and said that the vehicles with Roush CleanTech fuel systems will begin transporting pupils this coming Monday, August 7.
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.05 Roush Blue Birds for Fulton County

July 28, 2017 in milestones, Propane, propane autogas, school buses by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

New Fleet of 90 Includes 10,000th Blue Bird Propane Bus,
Of Which Some 90% Have Roush CleanTech Fuel Systems,
Georgia Buses to Have Roush’s New .05-Gram NOx Engine

Georgia’s Fulton County Schools has rolled out a fleet of new propane autogas buses from Blue Bird with Roush CleanTech fuel systems, the companies said yesterday. The buses will be powered by 6.8-liter Ford V-10 engines certified to the California Air Resources Board optional low nitrogen oxide/NOx level of .05 grams per brake horsepower per hour.
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Cook-Illinois Likes Its Initial Propane Buses

July 7, 2017 in Education, Propane, propane autogas, school buses by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Sixth in the Series of ‘Straight Talk’ Videos Extols Autogas:
Cook-Illinois Likes Reduced Maintenance… 2,000-Plus Buses?

Cook-Illinois, a contract school transportation provider, likes what it sees with propane autogas and is looking to convert many more buses in a fleet numbering more than 2,000 units. That’s according to Good for Students, Good for Business, the six and final of the latest series of Straight Talk videos from PERC, the Propane Education & Research Council.
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Thomas Sticks with Agility for Propane

June 28, 2017 in Companies, Propane, propane autogas by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Partnership Continues Relationship with CleanFuel USA,
Which This Spring Became an Agility Fuel Solutions Entity

Thomas Built Buses disclosed a strategic partnership with Agility Fuel Solutions for propane autogas systems for school buses yesterday. The announcement by the Daimler North America busbuilder noted that it’s continuing the relationship with CleanFuel USA now that CleanFuel has been acquired by Agility.
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Van Go Happy with Its 54 Propane Vans

June 26, 2017 in Education, paratransit, PERC Straight Talk, Propane, propane autogas by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Fifth in the Series of ‘Straight Talk’ Videos Extols Autogas:
Virginia’s Van Go Paratransit Operation Likes the Numbers

Richmond-Va.-based Van Go converted all 54 of its paratransit vehicles to propane autogas in 2012, opting for propane gasoline bi-fuel systems to extend the vehicles’ range, according to Going Further with Autogas, the fifth in the current series of Straight Talk videos from PERC, the Propane Education & Research Council.
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Blue Star Propane for PreFlight Phoenix

June 9, 2017 in Airports, Fleet Order, Propane, propane autogas by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Prins VSI-2 Bi-Fuel Kits for Sky Harbor Parking Shuttles

Blue Star Gas reports the conversion of three shuttle buses operated by PreFlight Airport Parking to propane-gasoline bi-fuel operation at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix.
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Indy Schools Opt for Propane Autogas

June 8, 2017 in Education, PERC Straight Talk, Propane, propane autogas by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Fourth in the Series of ‘Straight Talk’ Videos Extols Autogas:
Indianapolis Public Schools Has 100 Propane-Powered Buses

“Our fleet was aged. It was getting to the point where it was more costly to keep them maintained than to look at the expense of a new bus,” Indianapolis Public Schools director of transportation Manny Mendez says in Indianapolis Public Schools: Upgrading an Aging Fleet.
Read More >>

Roush & Blue Bird for Low-NOx Propane

June 8, 2017 in certifications, Propane, propane autogas, school buses, Technology by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Roush Claims First .05 NOx Propane Autogas Engine,
U.S. EPA- and California-Certified on 6.8-Liter Ford V-10
For Class 4 to 7 Vehicles & Blue Bird Type C School Buses
Affords Fleets ‘the Greatest NOx Reduction Per Dollar Spent’

Roush CleanTech has developed the industry’s first propane autogas engine with nitrogen oxide emissions of just 0.05 grams per brake horsepower-hour – dramatically below the current U.S. EPA limit of 0.2 g/bhp-hr.

The 6.8-liter Ford V-10 engine with the Roush modification has been certified by both the UPA and California Air Resources Board, the companies said yesterday.


‘Roush CleanTech’s low-NOx engine is a great step forward for the propane industry,’ said Tucker Perkins, president of PERC, the Propane Education & Research Council. Ford 6.8-liter V-10 engines photo courtesy Roush CleanTech at Roush headquarters in Michigan.

The target market is Class 4 to Class 7 vehicles, and Blue Bird’s Type C school buses.

‘A Great Step Forward’

“Roush CleanTech’s low NOx engine is a great step forward for the propane industry,” said PERC/Propane Education & Research Council president Tucker Perkins says in the Roush-Blue Bird release.

“Propane autogas is well established as an economical, clean-burning and domestically produced alternative fuel ideal for fleets,” Perkins said. “Now propane gets the biggest return on NOx.”

“Equipping the Blue Bird Vision with the lowest NOx propane engine makes the best-selling school bus in the industry even better,” said Blue Bird president and CEO Phil Horlock.

The Volkswagen Opportunity

“That’s great news for the environment, our customers and our children. Blue Bird’s propane school bus is the industry leader for lowest total cost of ownership and hassle-free maintenance,” Horlock said, “creating a cleaner and safer environment for us all.”

“Developing the lowest NOx propane engine sends a message that this fuel is comparable to other alternative fuels from a standpoint of emissions,” Roush CleanTech sales and marketing VP Todd Mouw says in the low-NOx announcement. “With our nation’s ample supply of propane and the fuel’s favorable total cost of ownership, our propane autogas engine is the perfect mix of environmental and economic sustainability,” he said.

Roush and Blue Bird note that over the past year, NOx awareness has increased due to the Volkswagen emissions compliance issue, with the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust (F&F, February 18) created to fund actions with cleaner technology that reduce excess emissions of NOx. “Our .05g NOx engine certification will help our school bus and public transit customers target funds,” from the VW mitigation program, Mouw said. “This is especially beneficial for school districts looking for extra funds to replace aging diesel models.”

“The launch of the lowest NOx engine in the class 4-7 space comes at an opportune time,” Mouw told F&F. “Our customers and partners can utilize funds from the upcoming Volkswagen EMT settlement to modernize their fleets with this low NOx propane engine offering the greatest NOx reduction per dollar spent.”

‘No Additional Upfront Cost’

The companies note that the certifications cover the 6.8-liter Roush modification for propane autogas powered school bus and commercial truck “with no additional upfront cost.” Roush has begun installing the new low NOx engines in its Ford commercial vehicles and Blue Bird Vision propane school buses with 2017 model year engines.

“Now it’s no longer just the Cummins Westport natural gas product,” one expert observer says in reference to new low-NOx engines from the joint venture serving the natural gas vehicle market (F&F, May 5).

Propane autogas-powered Blue Bird Vision school buses with fuel systems by Roush CleanTech for the Leander Independent School District in Cedar Park, north of Austin, Texas (F&F, September 26, 2016).


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Source: Blue Bird & Roush CleanTech with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

PERC Nozzle Money Runs Out June 30

June 2, 2017 in money available, Propane, propane autogas by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Funding of $1,000 Per Propane Autogas Hose-End Connector
To Encourage Fleet Use of Safer, Cleaner, Quick-Connect Units

“Time is running out for fleets to take advantage,” says PERC, the Propane Education & Research Council, noting that its Quick-Connect Nozzle Incentive program for propane autogas ends in just a few weeks.
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Propane Proven in Cold, Cold Weather

May 12, 2017 in Education, PERC Straight Talk, Propane, propane autogas by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Third in the Series of ‘Straight Talk’ Videos Extols Autogas:
Indiana’s Warren Township’s Finds Winter Woes Reduced

“Our story starts with snow,” says Steve Smith, transportation director with the Metropolitan School District of Warren Township, east of Indianapolis. “Then it goes to ice.”
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Agility More Propane with CleanFuel Buy

May 12, 2017 in Companies, Propane, propane autogas by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Powertrain Systems Unit Acquisition of CleanFuel USA
‘To Immediately Offer Complete Propane Fuel Systems’

Agility Fuel Solutions said yesterday that it’s boosting its nascent propane vehicle business via the acquisition of CleanFuel USA by Agility’s new expands new Powertrain Systems.

Agility’s move into propane autogas was announced less than two weeks ago at ACT Expo 2017 in Long Beach, Calif. (F&F, May 6).

Agility said that its Powertrain Systems unit is hiring key CleanFuel USA employees and will add locations in Wixom, Mich. to focus on fuel systems, and Georgetown, Texas to focus on fueling equipment.

‘A Complete Propane Solution’

The CleanFuel USA buy acquisition will Agility Powertrain Systems “to immediately offer complete propane fuel systems for commercial vehicles based on patented liquid propane injection (LPI) technology.

“Agility will also be able to offer turnkey propane fueling packages for both private fleet and retail locations, enabling a complete propane solution for commercial fleets globally,” states a release.


“This acquisition will enable our Powertrain Systems business unit to accelerate its development and certification of propane fuel systems for OEM engines and vehicles,” Agility CEO Kathleen Ligocki said in the CleanFuel USA acquisition announcement.

‘Cleaner Transportation Options’

“It’s a significant step toward our goal of offering a complete toolkit of solutions to enable the global transition toward cleaner transportation options,” she said.

“CleanFuel USA has assembled a portfolio of reliable products and leading technology in the commercial vehicle market in North America,” said Powertrain Systems president Brad Garner.

“We look forward to combining those products and technology with Agility’s market and geographic reach, financial strength, and aftermarket service capabilities to make it easy for fleets, OEMs, and propane distributors to benefit from propane’s advantages as a clean and affordable transportation fuel,” Garner said.

Previous Relationships

CleanFuel USA offers propane autogas dispensing equipment and vehicle conversion capabilities. It has previously announced agreements with ASV/Allied Specialty Vehicles for vehicle conversions (F&F, April 14, 2015) and with Daimler’s Freightliner Customer Chassis Corp and Thomas Built (F&F, July 16, 2014), and last year filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and reorganization (F&F, April 8, 2016).

Terms of the Agility Powertrain Systems acquisition were not disclosed.


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Source: Agility Fuel Solutions with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

Roush Touts Propane for Medium Trucks

May 8, 2017 in ACT Expo 2017, delivery vehicles, Propane, propane autogas by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

The Case Has Been Made in School Buses: 10,000-Plus Vehicles

Roush CleanTech promoted the potential for propane autogas for medium duty vehicles at last week’s ACT Expo.
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Agility Is Branching to Propane Autogas

May 5, 2017 in ACT Expo 2017, Companies, Propane, propane autogas by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Forms a New Business Unit: Powertrain Systems

Agility Fuel Solutions came to ACT Expo 2017 this week as a revamped company, having merged last year with the automotive operation of Type IV CNG cylinder manufacturer Hexagon Lincoln. Now it’s making another big move, establishing a new Powertrain Systems unit to help supply equipment for propane autogas vehicles.
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PERC Video Features Kingsport, TN Fleet

April 24, 2017 in Education, PERC Straight Talk, Propane, propane autogas by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Second in the Series of ‘Straight Talk’ Videos Extols Autogas:
Tennessee Town Has Switched to Propane for 90 of Its Vehicles

The City of Kingsport, Tenn. has converted 90 vehicles to propane autogas – and is happy with the reduced environmental impact and low maintenance requirements, according to a new Straight Talk video released by PERC, the Propane Education & Research Council.
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