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.
PERC’s Kingsport video, titled Switching for the Right Reasons, is the second in a new series of six.
Fleet maintenance staff for the 53,000-person Tennessee town began adding propane autogas vehicles to the fleet in 2011, says PERC. Starting with police vehicles, staff took advantage of money from DoE/Clean Cities, fleet maintenance manager Steve Hightower says in the Kingsport video.
Fuel Costs Down, Performance Up
“Due to the increase in fuel prices nationally there was a huge push that we evaluate ways to reduce the cost of operating the fleet,” he says.
The result? “We’ve seen that we had not only a savings (on fuel), but the performance aspect and, of course, the icing on the cake, naturally, was the environmental aspect.”
Maintenance Costs Reduced Too
Kingsport is seeing lower maintenance costs, too: “Propane being a cleaner fuel naturally you can extend engine life components,” Hightower says.
“You don’t get the carbon buildup and stuff from propane that you would get from gasoline.”
Engine Life Up
“With the longer life of the engine on our oil changes, naturally, that can be a cost savings as well and the use of the propane as a fuel.”
Kingsport police officer Todd Ide says the police vehicles seem to move better on propane autogas, PERC reports: “He can feel the difference when he switches the vehicles off of gasoline.”
Fueling the propane vehicles is simple and has easily been picked up by employees across the city.
A Diverse Mix of Vehicles
The Kingsport fleet maintenance staff oversees a diverse mix of vehicles, from public school buses to parks and recreation trucks, to police department cruisers, PERC says.
“Propane autogas was easily adopted for a wide gamut of vehicles because there were no additional requirements for the city to service and repair propane autogas systems in its existing facilities.”
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Source: PERC with Fleets & Fuels follow-up