Hocon Gas Rolls Its Own & Helps Fuel School Bus Fleets,
Promotes Propane Autogas Vehicles with Upfitter Cusson
Shelton, Conn.-based Hocon Gas continues to advocate for and operate propane autogas vehicles in its home state, acquiring one of the first dedicated-propane S2G vehicles by Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp and providing fueling support to school bus and other fleets.
Hocon works closely with Windsor, Conn.-based Cusson Automotive. Cusson converts a wide range of Ford and GM vehicles primarily to propane-gasoline bi-fuel operation using liquid injection equipment from Icom North America.
Propane autogas, notes Hocon autogas manager Tim Brown, “is the third largest fuel used in the world with over 24 million vehicles running” – only gasoline and diesel can claim more.
‘At the Cusp’
Cusson has a short-term goal of two conversions a week, and hopes in good time to ramp up to 400 to 500 vehicles a year, says president Don Cusson.
“We have just cracked the shell here in New England,” he told F&F. “We’re at the cusp.”
“We have a proven product,” Cusson says. Compared to the infrastructure required for CNG/compressed natural gas, “We can bring it in at a tenth of the cost.
‘You Don’t Need Government Money’
“You’re going to see propane stand on its own,” he says. “You don’t need government money to do what we do.”
Cusson and Hocon number Falvey Linen & Uniform Supply of East Hartford and Tarantino’s Landscaping, Inc. in Bridgeport among their vehicle and propane autogas fuel customers. Hocon also supplies propane for TLI mowers.
Don Cusson says he expects to be able to announce 30-vehicle orders by two Connecticut municipalities this summer. He’s also in talks with state officials.
Two School Bus Fleets – Thus Far
In addition to the new S2G (and a second on order), Hocon managers drive smaller propane autogas vehicles – approximately half a dozen Ford F-150 pickups with Cusson-Icom upfits. All told, about 20 of a company total of 90 vehicles operate on propane autogas, says Brown, with propane vehicles taking the place of conventional vehicles as they are retired.
Hocon has provided propane autogas fueling installations for 60 Blue Bird Vision school buses for Shelton in southern Connecticut (F&F, March 14, 2013), and upwards of 40 to the north in Torrington (F&F, January 17, 2014).
“The S2G is the most forward-looking vehicle platform that I’ve seen come out in ten years,” Hocon Gas president David Gable says in a Propane Education and Research Council video. His firm already has a second S2G on order.
Development of FCCC’s S2G with Powertrain Integration engine and CleanFuel USA fuel system was backed by PERC. The vehicle was announced at the NTEA Work Truck Show in Indianapolis in 2012 (F&F, March 9, 2012) and entered full production last year.
Propane-delivery bobtail trucks allowing propane companies to run their vehicles on their own fuel were the first S2G variant to be offered, followed by utility work trucks and delivery vehicles.
Separately, Powertrain Integration noted today that the S2G with its PIthon engine was shown last week at an open house hosted by Ray Murray, Inc. in Lee, Mass. RMI is a large propane equipment supplier.
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Source: Hocon Gas with Fleets & Fuels follow-up