200 Dedicated-Autogas Vans, and New F-550 with GAS
Roush CleanTech disclosed an order for 200 Ford propane autogas-fueled F-250 vans by the Dish Network at the Work Truck Show in Indianapolis – and revealed its new Ford F-550 chassis cab with GAS, Indiana’s Green Alternative Systems.
It took the Dish Network more than a year to investigate all the alternative fuel options before settling on Roush and propane, said Abe Stephenson, the satellite TV provider’s fleet and administration manager. “It was very important to us not to make sacrifices in day-to-day operations with any alternate fuel strategy,” he said.
“It was important that we could source fuel anywhere in the U.S., and propane has 2,500-plus points of distribution around the country. It was important to buy American, and it was important to save money.”
Dish compared the mileage range of the propane F-250 with the range requirements of its 30 offices, and found that 10 locations were a good fit. The firm had room in their parking lots to install propane tanks so the vans could fill up on site. The first F-250s will begin operations from this summer onwards at two locations each in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Detroit and Atlanta.
“Dish expects to save about $2,500 per vehicle in annual lifecycle costs due to a 55% reduction in fuel costs and the cleaner burning properties of propane autogas,” executive VP of service and installation Erik Carlson said in Dish’s propane fleet announcement.
‘An Operator Can Save $40,000 on Fuel’
Looking ahead, Stephenson said Ford’s introduction of a new Transit next year could make 10 more Dish offices eligible for propane-powered vehicles.
Roush’s propane-powered Ford F-550 step van and shuttle chassis upfits via GAS augment the F-59 and related strip chassis unveiled last month (F&F, February 23).
With more than 65 usable gallons, the propane F-550 “offers the longest driving range of any dedicated-alternative fuel counterpart on the market,” Roush said. The propane autogas fuel tank sits between the frame rails and behind the aft axle. The vehicle can carry as many as 33 passengers as a shuttle, and “also suits the delivery, construction, transit and utility markets.” Roush converts the 6.8-liter V-10 engine, delivered by Ford with gaseous-prep package.
The first vehicles will be available in April. The F-59 will cost $17,900, and the F-550 is priced at $21,900. More than ten orders had already been placed before the unveiling.
“This is a huge opportunity for this market,” said Todd Mouw, Roush VP of sales and marketing. “An operator can save $40,000 on fuel over the life of the vehicle.”
“This is a monumental new product release for the fleet industry,” GAS GM Sean Connolly says in the Roush release. “With an industry-leading fuel capacity, this dedicated propane autogas vehicle fills the gap for a reliable alternative fuel option for this commonly used application.”
GAS is a certified Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier. As such, it designs mounting hardware, handles packaging strategy “and integrates Roush CleanTech propane autogas fuel system technology” into the F-550 chassis cab and other vehicles. The QVM upfit vehicles maintain the factory Ford warranty and the same horsepower, torque and towing capacity as their gasoline counterparts.
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Source: Fleets & Fuels at the Work Truck Show