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  • RCT20Technician20Training202017202 X2

    Four Myths About “Clean” Diesel School Buses

    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.

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    Author Bio
    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 ryan.zic@roush.com or 800.59.ROUSH. To learn more, visit ROUSHcleantech.com.

     

     

  • TXNGVGP

    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 info@propanecounciloftexas.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.

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    Propane Council of Texas Takes Part in World’s Biggest Earth Day Celebration

    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.

     

  • TERP ERIG Program Accepting Grant Applications 

  • New TCEQ Grant Opportunity for Large Fleets

  • American Lung Association Call for Partners for EPA Grant

    lungsThe 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:
    Angela Tin
    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

  • Propane Truck

    Propane-Powered Vehicles Transporting Goods: An Option for Grants from North Texas

    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 lclark@nctcog.org or at 817-695-9232.

     

     

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    Propane Autogas Creating Greener School Districts & Healthier Budgets

    DALLAS — School transportation directors from all over Texas converged on Dallas for the Texas Association of Pupil Transportation (TAPT) Conference at the Hilton Anatole this weekend. The Propane Council of Texas (ProCOT) was on hand to educate transportation officials on propane cutting-edge technology to help districts lower school bus emissions.

    Propane school buses reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, produce fewer smog-forming hydrocarbon emissions, and do not expose children to harmful particulate matter found in diesel exhaust. Particulate matter can increase breathing-related issues and worsen asthma.

    “Propane autogas is a smart choice for Texas schools,” said Jackie Mason, Educational & Marketing Director for the Propane Council of Texas. “Not only does propane lower harmful emissions, but it reduces fuel costs and has a proven safety record in Texas.”

    Even with the low cost of motor fuel, propane autogas still offers very significant savings over diesel for school districts looking to make the switch, and it’s found right here in our own backyard. Texas produces nearly half the nation’s propane and the U.S. is a net exporter of the domestic, cleaner-burning fuel.

    “School districts have options. Top school bus manufacturers have responded to requests for greener buses, and they now produce propane buses, including Blue Bird, Collins Bus Corporation, Thomas Built Bus, and IC Bus,” says Mason.

    There are nearly 2,500 school buses powered by propane operating in Texas. Over 70 school districts, including Arlington ISD, Conroe ISD, Houston ISD, and Eanes ISD in Austin are using propane alternative fuel buses. Dallas County Schools and Northside ISD in San Antonio host the largest propane powered school bus fleets in Texas.

    For many school districts across the state, running propane-powered school buses and other vehicles on cleaner-burning autogas is a great way to help build greener schools and healthier budgets.

    About the Propane Council of Texas

    The Propane Council of Texas (ProCOT) is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 dedicated to educating the public and the propane industry on safety and on the newest clean-burning propane technologies. ProCOT is the state entity that represents the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), which was authorized by the U.S. Congress with the passage of the Propane Education and Research Act (PERA) of 1996. To find out more about propane autogas, visit FuelingTexas.com.

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    TCEQ Opens Up Funding for the Statewide Alternative Fuel New Light-Duty Motor Vehicle Purchase or Lease Incentive (LDLPI) Program

    The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) announced that up to $7.8 million in grants is being made available for the new Light-Duty Motor Vehicle Purchase or Lease Incentive (LDPLI) Program. The LDPLI is a program that provides financial incentives up to $2,500 for the purchase or lease of eligible new vehicles powered by compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), or electric drives (plug-in).

    “The great part of this program is you do not have to be in non-attainment or near non-attainment area. Anyone in the state of Texas can take advantage of this program,” says Jackie Mason of the Propane Council of Texas.

    The vehicle must be a new light-duty motor vehicle. Texas Health and Safety Code Section 386.151 (2), defines a light-duty motor vehicle as a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 10,000 pounds.

    The propane autogas powered vehicles must be purchased or leased from a dealer or leasing company licensed to sell or lease new vehicles in Texas to qualify. Some of the LPG eligible vehicles include Roush’s E-150 – E-350 vans as well as their F-250 as long as the vehicles meet the weight criteria.  A full listing of eligible vehicles under the LDPLI is available on the TERP web site at www.terpgrants.org.

    Bi-fuel and dedicated conversions may be eligible, but only under these very strict circumstances. The car dealer will need to work directly with an alternative fuel system convertor to convert the engine and fuel system to operate on the alternative fuel before the sale or lease of the vehicle is completed.

    So basically, to be eligible for the rebate grant someone may not have the engine and fuel system converted to the alternative fuel after they have purchased or leased the vehicle. To qualify for a grant, the final alternative fuel vehicle must be sold or leased as a new vehicle by the licensed new vehicle dealer or leasing company.
    Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis from now until June 26, 2015 (so until next Summer), or until all funding is awarded, whichever occurs first.

    Please note: Only purchases completed after the official opening of the grant round, which began May 13, 2014 are eligible to apply for a Rebate.

    For questions regarding the LDPLI program, please contact the TERP program at 800-919-TERP (8377).