Arizona Fleet Has Cut Its Fuel Bill in Half with Propane Autogas
As Upfitter and Fuel Supplier Blue Star Active Now in Five States
Sky Harbor Airport Parking in Phoenix has saved 50% in fuel costs compared with gasoline while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20.8 tons just six months after converting its ten airport shuttles to propane autogas, upfitter Blue Star Gas reported this morning.
Conversion of the Ford E450-chassis shuttles was done in Phoenix using Vapor Sequential Injection fuel systems from Prins Autogassystemen, which is now owned by Westport.
Oregon-based Blue Star also installed two 1,000-gallon on-site propane fueling tanks and dispensers.
ROI of Just Seven Months
“The numbers Blue Star Gas presented us with showed an affordable upfront cost with a projected return on investment in just seven months,” Sky Harbor Airport Parking GM Brandi Casimir says in the announcement.
Her organization looked into other alternative fuels, including compressed natural gas, but decided that their upfront costs were too high, Blue Star says.
An additional deciding factor was that the propane autogas systems can be transferred from vehicle to vehicle as the fleet is updated.
Systems Outlast the Vehicles
“Our shuttles travel an average of 65,000 miles per year, making the eight-minute round-trip from the parking facility to the airport terminal nearly 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Casimir said. “We usually replace them after five years of service. In the end, we wouldn’t have converted our fleet unless this type of transition was possible.”
“Air pollution has resulted in negative national attention for Phoenix,” Blue Star government relations director Darren Engle says in the Sky Harbor Airport Parking announcement. “It’s a similar situation to what we’ve seen in Salt Lake City and other communities nationwide.
Westport Lauded in Warsaw
“Displacing gasoline and diesel with low-carbon alternative fuels like propane autogas is a clear path forward and a major part of the solution for many communities.”
Blue Star Gas says it now serves “14 unique markets” in Washington, Oregon, California, Utah, and Arizona.
Also, today, Alliance AutoGas spread the word that Prins won the innovation award for its LPG Direct Injection technology for heavy duty propane-diesel dual fuel engines at the International Gas Show Exhibition earlier this month in Warsaw. The dual fuel system was announced last year by Alliance AutoGas and its affiliate Blossman Services (F&F, September 16).
The system has won U.S. EPA certification for the 14-liter Detroit Diesel engine, Alliance AutoGas said, and is in testing for the Volvo D13 engine platform and a 2013 direct injection GM vehicle.
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Source: Blue Star Gas with Fleets & Fuels follow-up