- Why Autogas
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Recent claims within the school bus industry state that diesel buses are clean, cost-effective and easier to maintain — while casting doubt on propane autogas. Here are some of those recent statements made about “clean” diesel school buses — and the facts about propane-fueled models.
Fiction: Diesel is clean and has the lowest carbon footprint over the operational life of a school bus.
Fact: Modern diesel emissions are much cleaner than they used to be and typically do well in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. Propane engines also have very low greenhouse gas emissions — and also significantly reduce the toxic emission constituent of nitrogen oxides (NOx) at four times less output than modern diesels. This is important because most NOx emissions are sourced from the transportation sector whereas only a small percentage of greenhouse gas emissions are sourced from transportation. Greenhouse gas emissions like carbon dioxide are inert gases and are part of what we exhale. NOx pose considerable danger to human health and air quality.
“Propane is definitely the direction to go, away from diesel and emission issues,” said Neal Higgins, mechanic for Bibb County School District in Macon, Georgia.
Fiction: Diesel buses are easier to maintain.
Fact: Today’s diesel buses may be cleaner than year’s past, but they are cleaner only through complexity, like expensive equipment and high-maintenance systems, which aren’t required on propane autogas school buses. To meet federal emission standards, a diesel bus has 20 additional parts — that’s 20 components that need to be maintained. They include diesel particulate filters, manual regeneration and diesel exhaust fluid, and other complex after-treatment devices.
“There are a lot of hoops you have to jump through with diesel due to of all of the EPA emission standards. New EPA-certified diesel buses have become much more expensive and difficult to maintain,” said Bruce Thomas, master technician for Adams 12 Five Star in Thornton, Colorado. “For our district, the upfront costs have increased substantially just for equipment to pass newer emission standards.”
Fiction: When you look at all the factors, diesel buses offer the lowest total cost of ownership.
Fact: More than 800 school districts are saving 20 to 50 percent on a cost per mile basis for fuel and maintenance operating propane buses compared to diesel. School bus fleets have saved between $400 and $3,000 per propane bus per year when compared to the diesel buses they operate. Propane has the lowest cost of infrastructure of all transportation fuels, saving money on fueling station needs. Historically, propane autogas averages 50 percent less than diesel.
“We tracked data on both a propane bus and a diesel bus of the same model year. The propane bus was driven for bus routes on dirt roads with multiple stops and starts,” said Brian Swestaka, director of transportation for Howard-Winneshiek Community School District in Cresco, Iowa. “The diesel bus was used as an activity bus, mostly highway miles. The propane bus still operated significantly cheaper than the diesel bus due to fuel and maintenance savings.”
Fiction: Many alternative fuel engines aren’t built for medium-duty use.
Fact: The Ford 6.8L engine is built specifically for medium-duty applications. Introduced in 1997, there are more than 1.8 million of these engines on the road today. This is the engine used in more than 10,500 Blue Bird Vision Propane school buses transporting students to and from schools across the nation.
While there is an upfront cost associated with converting a vehicle or buying a new dedicated propane autogas model, the low cost of the fuel compared with diesel often translates to a quick return on investment. Most fleets that make the switch recoup their investment within 18 months of use.
“A state grant paid for the incremental cost difference of our propane buses, which meant we could start saving money right away since our fuel and maintenance costs are much lower than with our diesel buses,” said Ricky Phillips, vehicle maintenance manager of Clarksville-Montgomery School District in Montgomery County, Tennessee
Whatever type of fuel used, school districts around the nation must work within their operational budgets and environmental goals. Hundreds of school districts have chosen propane and are proving it’s a clean-burning and economical transportation fuel.
Ryan Zic is the school bus sales director for ROUSH CleanTech, an industry leader of alternative fuel vehicle technology. His expertise includes direct sales, original equipment manufacturer management and Tier 1 sales and support. Reach him at email@example.com or 800.59.ROUSH. To learn more, visit ROUSHcleantech.com.
Propane Council of Texas Touts Opportunities for Cleaner Air with the State’s Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Grant Program
Propane is eligible under the newly expanded grant program
This month, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) announced a grand round of $15.4M for their newly expanded Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Grant Program (TNGVGP). The grant program funds the replacement older diesel or gasoline medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicles with CNG, LNG and now LPG (propane) vehicles operating in the Clean Transportation Zone, an 83 county area of Texas.
Propane was added to Texas Senate Bill 1731 in the 85th Legislative session since it is Natural Gas Liquid (NGL) and is too homegrown, found right here in Texas.
“The Propane Council of Texas is excited to educate fleets on this new opportunity to add clean-burning propane vehicles on Texas roads,” says Jackie Mason, Education & Marketing Director for the Council.
Propane is a great option for fleets, because it is economical, domestically-produced, widely available fuel, and contributes to cleaner air. The propane industry has engineered a multitude of platforms that are eligible for the program from medium-duty trucks to school buses that government and business fleets as well as school districts who can upgrade, too.
Funding under the Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Grant Program varies dependent on the model year of the vehicle, the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), and fuel type of the vehicle, the entity is replacing. Click here to download the guidelines.
For more information or to contact the Propane Council of Texas, email firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Propane Council of Texas
The Propane Council of Texas (ProCOT) is a 501 (c) 3 and the state arm of the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC). Our objective is consumer education, highlighting the benefits of home-grown propane and promoting clean-burning propane technologies.
State program provides school districts money to replace aging buses
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) just announced $6.2M funding under their newly expanded Clean School Bus Program. The Clean School Bus Program open now will provide grants to public and charter schools as well as school transportation companies statewide to install exhaust retrofits as well as replace older diesel school buses with new school buses. One of those options includes replacement of older buses with cleaner-burning propane autogas school buses.
The Propane Council of Texas is excited about a new opportunity to put cleaner school buses on Texas roads. According to the EPA, diesel exhaust is exceptionally harmful to children because their lungs are not fully developed. Not only that, but these older diesel buses produce higher amounts of nitrogen oxides (NOx), which is a greenhouse gas that contributes to smog, ground level ozone and is associated with adverse health effects. Cleaner-burning propane school buses are available from top school bus manufacturers.
“Texas is home to over 26,000 pre-2007 diesel school buses. If school districts would replace all the pre-2007 school buses, Texas could reduce (NOx) by 7.5M pounds a year,” states Propane Council of Texas Executive Director, Bill Van Hoy.
School districts can replace a pre-2007 school bus with propane school bus and get between $36,500 -$52,500 dependent on the passenger capacity. Funding is first come, first serve with a limit of funding 5 school buses per district.
The Clean School Bus Grant guidelines and application can be found on the TCEQ website at www.terpgrants.org.
School districts interested to switch to propane school can contact the Propane Council of Texas for information at email@example.com or calling (800)325-7427.
About the Propane Council of Texas The Propane Council of Texas is (ProCOT) is a 501 (c) 3 educational and marketing foundation. Our objective is consumer education, highlighting the benefits of home-grown propane and promoting clean-burning propane technologies like propane school buses.
The Propane Council of Texas (ProCOT) is proud to represent our national Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) at the Earth Day Texas and National Alternative Fuel Vehicle Day Odyssey, in which PERC is a major sponsor. Odyssey Day is the largest, nationwide event dedicated to promoting the use of and educating people about alternative fuel vehicles and Earth Day Texas is the world’s largest Earth Day celebration.
The National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC), Earth Day Texas, and the Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities, a U.S. Department of Energy Clean Cities coalition joined forces to bring the two events together for one long weekend at Fair Park in Dallas to bring awareness to alternative fuel vehicles and clear air initiatives.
The event kicks off this Thursday, April 19 with National Odyssey Day and an Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Summit. Friday, April 21, 2017 – Sunday, April 23, 2017 marks the Earth Texas Day event where over 150,000 people from the DFW metroplex are expected. Several cleaner-burning propane-powered vehicles (including a school bus, delivery vehicle, pick-up trucks, and SUV) will be featured in the AFV Pavilion located right next to Cotton Bowl Plaza.
“The event will give us a chance to show the public that propane goes beyond the grill,” said Jackie Mason, Education & Marketing Director for the Propane Council of Texas, “That propane autogas is a lower-emitting option in school transportation and for fleets in their communities.”
Propane autogas has been a proven motor fuel since 1913 and is the most commonly used alternative fuel in the world. There are 25 million propane vehicles worldwide, over 200,000 in United States, and nearly 7,000 in Texas. The Lone Star State also hosts 2,600 cleaner-burning propane school buses. In the U.S., there are over 12,500 propane school buses operated by over 700 school districts transporting over ½ a million students each school day.
About Propane Education & Research Council (PERC)
The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) is a check-off program established, operated, and funded by the propane industry. PERC implements safety and training programs, conducts research, and invests in technology development with leading equipment manufacturers to expand adoption of propane as a clean, American-made energy source.
About the Propane Council of Texas
The Propane Council of Texas is (ProCOT) is a 501 (c) 3 and the state arm of the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC). Our objective is consumer education, highlighting the benefits of home-grown propane and promoting clean-burning propane technologies.
The American Lung Association (although it is its Midwest Chapter) is looking for partners no matter where they are in the country for the EPA DERA grant. The American Lung Association internal deadline is this Friday, April 1, 2016 (which is slightly flexible). Fleet partners will be end-users (fleets: either public or private) that operate in non-attainment areas (Dallas/Fort Worth , Houston-Galveston, El Paso or other non-attainment areas in across the country). Contact the American Lung Association if you have a fleet or fleets interested in replacing a dirty diesel vehicle with a cleaner-burning propane vehicle (e.g. bobtails, school buses).
Interested parties, please contact:
Vice President Environmental Health
American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest
3000 Kelly Lane | Springfield, IL 62711
General: 217.787.5864 | Direct: 217. 241.9027 | Fax: 217.787.5916
www.lungum.org | Angela.Tin@lung.org
As a reminder, the DFW Clean Cities has a similar grant that is for vehicles transporting goods e.g. propane bobtails and propane forklifts, click here for the North Texas grant information.
Photo compliments of www.freedigitalimages.net
Recently, the North Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) announced a call for clean vehicle projects. This grant opportunity is for the replacement of dirty-diesel vehicles (MY 1994-2006) with a newer cleaner diesel or alternative fuel vehicles like propane-powered vehicles. These are for vehicles/on-road equipment transporting goods or a commodity. Propane is viewed as a commodity by NCTCOG so bobtails that meet the qualifications could be eligible.
The grant is awarded will pay for 25% of the cost of the replacement vehicle or 35% of the cost of the vehicle if it meets the CARB low NOx option.
Eligible vehicles/equipment must operate within one of the ten counties currently designated as non-attainment for the pollutant ozone (Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant and Wise).
There is no minimum amount of vehicles that someone has to apply for. A marketer could apply for one. At this time, they do not know if it will be competitive, it depends on how many applications they receive. Sometimes they have received more applications than funding they are eligible for and sometimes they have received no applications what so ever.
Application materials must be received in-hand no later than 5pm Central Standard Time, on Friday, April 15, 2016, to Lori Clark, Principal Air Quality Planner, North Central Texas Council of Governments, 616 Six Flags Drive, Arlington, Texas 76011.
For application materials and additional details, see www.nctcog.org/aqfunding.
For additional information, interest parties can contact the grant administrator, Lori Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 817-695-9232.
Nestlé Waters North America cites lower emissions, cost cuts with alternatively fueled delivery trucks.
Environmental stewardship is just one reason Nestlé Waters North America is adding more than 150 medium-duty beverage delivery trucks fueled by propane autogas — but it’s a big motivation: Over the vehicles’ lifetime, the 155 Ford F-650 trucks will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 24.6 million pounds. These units will be deployed beginning in April.
“Becoming a better steward of our environment is a priority for Nestlé Waters,” said Bill Ardis, national fleet manager for Nestlé Waters North America, speaking at the NTEA Work Truck Show. “We’ve been running propane autogas vehicles since 2014. Because of the proven emissions reductions and cost savings, we knew it was the right choice to expand our fleet with this domestically produced alternative fuel.”
The new medium-duty delivery trucks, added to the company’s existing autogas fleet of 30 Ford trucks of the same model, will also help the company save on maintenance and fuel costs.
“Customers have already noticed that our trucks operating on autogas are quieter and cleaner,” Ardis said.
Each delivery truck is equipped with a California Air Resources Board- and Environmental Protection Agency-compliant ROUSH CleanTech propane autogas fuel system with a 45-usable gallon fuel tank.
The Nestlé Waters North America propane trucks are used to deliver product to its customers across the country including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Milwaukee and Fort Lauderdale. Deployments in 2016 will include New York City, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Philadelphia and Baltimore.
About Nestlé Waters North America: Nestlé Waters North America provides people with an unrivaled portfolio of bottled waters for healthy hydration. Brands such as NESTLÉ® PURE LIFE®, POLAND SPRING®, PERRIER® and S. PELLEGRINO® have driven Nestlé Waters North America to be the third largest non-alcoholic beverage company by volume in the U.S.
The Propane Council of Texas Examines the Many Funding Opportunities to Go Green
Right now is the perfect time for school districts to switch to cleaner-burning propane-powered school buses. There is a multitude of funding opportunities that can help school districts replace their buses with a greener option from state to federal funds. Below we focus on school bus specific grants.
All the below grants are eligible statewide (except the below mentioned HGAC regional grant):
Alternative Fuel Initiatives School Bus Rebate Program
Last week, the State Energy Conservation Office (SECO) announced a competitive grant for smaller, rural school districts. Texas tax-payer supported school districts may be eligible up to $8,000 per bus up to 10 buses. Submission deadline is October 31, 2015.
DERA 2015 School Bus Replacement
Additionally, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) just announced $7 million in funding for school buses through the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA). Applicants may list up to ten buses for replacements on each application. These buses must be powered by a model year 2006 or older engine. EPA will pay between $15,000 and $25,000 per bus, depending on vehicle size. The bus being replaced must be scrapped and permanently disabled. The deadline to apply is October 30, 2015.
Alternative Fuels Clean School Bus Replacement Programs
Through a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s Statewide Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEP), both the Railroad Commission and the Texas PTA have funding for school districts to replace older diesel school buses that are 2002 or older with new alternative fuel buses like propane. There are a couple differences between the two programs.
The Railroad Commission Program requires school districts to be NEW to propane. Texas PTA does not require a school to be new to propane; however, they do require the school district receiving the bus to have one school belonging to the Texas PTA.
Both programs require that the buses be scrapped. Funding is cyclical as money comes in as TCEQ accesses fines and violators choose which Statewide Supplemental Environmental Project they want their fines to go to.
The Railroad Commission is actively seeking school districts that are looking to make the switch so they can call them when funds come in to help districts make the transition.
Contact information for the grant administrators of the both SEP’s are below:
Railroad Commission contact: Art Valladares 512-463-7359 email@example.com
Texas PTA contact: Mayra Guevara (512) 320-9825 firstname.lastname@example.org
Houston-Galveston Area Council SEP
Houston-Galveston Area Council also implements a TCEQ SEP to help replace 2010 or older buses with new, lower emission buses that meet the most recent EPA emissions standards.
School district must operate the bus 75 % of their time in Harris, Fort Bend, Waller, Montgomery, Liberty, Chambers, Galveston or Brazoria counties. Buses must be scrapped.
Please call (832) 681-2578 for more information.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality announced that up to $5.9 million in grants is being made available through the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) Texas Clean Fleet Program (TCFP) to encourage entities that operate large fleets of vehicles in Texas to replace diesel-powered vehicles with alternative fuel vehicles(includes propane).
Eligible entities include those that own fleets of 75 or more vehicles operated in Texas. Entities must commit to replace at least 20 diesel-powered light-duty or heavy-duty vehicles with a new alternative fuel vehicle of the same weight classification and use.
Applications will be accepted for consideration only if received at the front desk, Rm. 1301, 1st floor of Building F on the premises of the TCEQ (12100 Park 35 Circle, Austin, TX 78753) by no later than 5:00 p.m. Central Time, November 10, 2015.
Please visit www.terpgrants.org or call 1-800-919-TERP (8377) for more information regarding the TCFP eligibility requirements, selection criteria, and application submittal process.
Interested applicants are also encouraged to attend a TCFP Application Workshop hosted by the TCEQ. The workshop schedule has been provided for your convenience below.
Austin: September 28, 2015
1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
TCEQ’s Austin Office
Building F, Room 2210
12100 Park 35 Circle
Austin, TX 78753
Longview: September 29, 2015
1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Maude Cobb Convention Center
100 Grand Boulevard
Longview, TX 75604
Arlington: September 30, 2015
1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
North Central Texas Council of Governments
Transportation Council Room
616 Six Flags Drive, Centerpoint II
Arlington, TX 76011
Houston: October 1, 2015
1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Tracy Gee Community Center
3599 Westcenter Drive
Houston, TX 77042
The workshop schedule can also be found online at www.terpgrants.org.