Alliance AutoGas, with the support of the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), have received $8.6 million in funding from the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 to fund a Southeast Propane Autogas Development Program. The program will help to build at least 17 propane refueling stations as well as convert 1,200 vehicles to propane in nine southeast states. According to PERC, propane, when used to power on-road vehicles, is known worldwide as autogas. Nearly 90 percent of propane supplies are produced in the U.S. and 7 percent is imported from Canada.
“We are encouraged that this grant provides an opportunity to showcase the viability of autogas and its benefits,” said Stuart Weidie, president of Alliance AutoGas. “Autogas is recognized as the number one alternative fuel worldwide. It’s almost entirely domestically produced and is available right here, right now.”
Project management for the program will be shared by Virginia Clean Cities and James Madison University. Alliance AutoGas’ founding partners, Blossman Gas and American Alternative Fuel, along with certified conversion partners, will perform the vehicle conversions and provide the infrastructure for both private and public fueling stations. Vehicles that will be targeted for conversions include taxis, limousines and vans.
It is projected that the program will displace at least 15 million gallons of gasoline over four years as well as reduce harmful tailpipe emissions. A website that will track the conversion information along with the greenhouse gas emission reductions will launch later this year.
“The rollout of this Alliance AutoGas project will result in the wider use of propane vehicles, which will help us reach our county’s environmental and national energy security goals,” concluded Brian Feehan, vice president of PERC.