Alliance Autogas, Force 911, Blossman and Clean Cities
The Carroll County Sheriff’s Office near Atlanta is saving an estimated $135,000 annually in fuel costs running 36 Ford Crown Victoria sedans on propane autogas – and is adding more, says Virginia Clean Cities, which manages SPADP, the Southeast Propane Autogas Development Program.
Each vehicle drives around 30,000 miles each year. Carroll County expects to enjoy upwards of $170,000 in fuel savings while eliminating more than 130 tons of emissions each year once all 46 vehicles are up and running in 2013.
Carroll County first switched six cruisers to autogas through Alliance AutoGas in 2009, and then in 2010 received SPADP funding to convert an additional 30 vehicles. In 2012, the county was awarded funding assistance for the conversion of 10 more vehicles through SPADP.
Carroll County Sheriff Terry Langley began researching options for alternative fuels because major fluctuations in gas prices were continually causing budget problems, says a Virginia Clean Cities announcement. He found propane autogas to be the most practical option, and says that the autogas vehicle program has been well received by his officers.
The Officers Like It
“At first there were some questions about the flammability of the fuel, to which we explained that the fuel is as safe as gasoline – in fact, the autogas tanks are many times more puncture-resistant than gasoline tanks,” Langley said. “With a little bit of education and fueling training, the officers felt comfortable operating the autogas vehicles. Now we even have officers request to drive the propane vehicles because they have better pickup.”
Their department’s work often includes interstate travel, and officers have not had issues locating propane autogas fueling stations in other states.
“We have achieved more control over our budget, it’s a safe fuel that burns cleaner and our officers like the vehicle performance,” Langley said. “I wish we had made the switch sooner.”
SPADP comprises public and private partnerships throughout 10 southeastern states, Denver and Pittsburgh, is helping convert more than 1,200 vehicles to propane autogas, and is supporting more than 30 autogas fueling stations. SPADP has federal funding via ARRA, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, as well as Clean Cities.
The Alliance AutoGas network provides autogas vehicle conversions, fuel supply and support for SPADP. Alliance partner Force 911 in Pendergrass, Ga., performed the Carroll County conversions, while Alliance founder Blossman Gas provided two fueling stations.
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