Fifth in the Series of ‘Straight Talk’ Videos Extols Autogas:
Virginia’s Van Go Paratransit Operation Likes the Numbers
Richmond-Va.-based Van Go converted all 54 of its paratransit vehicles to propane autogas in 2012, opting for propane gasoline bi-fuel systems to extend the vehicles’ range, according to Going Further with Autogas, the fifth in the current series of Straight Talk videos from PERC, the Propane Education & Research Council.
In addition to cheaper fuel – gasoline was selling for about $4 per gallon when Van Go began investigating alternatives in 2010, says company president and CEO Sid del Cardayre – the propane upfits and fueling infrastructure was cheaper, and performance has been exemplary.
“It was a pretty quick decision,” Van Go GM Travis Snellings says in the video.
“The financial impact of it seemed to be a no-brainer,” he says.
“The differential between the cost of propane and the gasoline at that point was fairly significant,” Snelling recalls, “so the decision to invest in the infrastructure was a fairly easy decision to make.
Kit and Infrastructure: Both Cheaper
“The infrastructure cost is less than some of the other alternatives. The kit cost is less and the production and performance is excellent.”
“We converted as many vehicles as we could,” del Cardayre says in the PERC video. “We haven’t replaced engines anywhere near as much as we used to. The vans don’t break down like they used to.”
‘Saved Tens of Thousands of Dollars’
And because the engines run smother, the transmissions last longer: as much as 40,000 miles longer, according to service technician Ed Anderson.
“Over the years, says PERC, 25-year-old Van Go has “saved tens of thousands of dollars from reduced fuel and maintenance costs.”
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Source: PERC with Fleets & Fuels follow-up