- Why Autogas
- Press Room
This week, the Propane Council of Texas (ProCOT) attended the Texas Association of Pupil Transportation (TAPT) Expo & Conference at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, TX for a chance to connect with 750 school transportation officials and educate them on the growing popularity of propane-powered school buses.
Schools across the nation are turning to cleaner propane autogas to power their buses. 840 school districts in 48 states, including Texas have upgraded to greener propane school buses. There are over 15,000 propane-powered school buses on our nation’s roads transporting nearly 1 million students daily. Texas is leading the charge and has more propane school buses than any other state with 2,870 buses and growing.
What makes propane buses so popular? New low NOx propane school buses produce significantly fewer emissions than modern diesel buses and are up to 75 percent cleaner than the current emissions standard.
Plus, there is usually a high price tag with going green, but that isn’t necessarily the case with propane. With lower fuel costs, reduced maintenance expenses and the shrinking cost of propane school buses, school districts do not have much to worry about high investments to go green.
School districts operating propane school buses are saving up to 50% on fuel costs when compared to diesel. Propane does not just cost less at the pump for school districts, but propane school buses have significantly less maintenance than a new clean diesel school bus, which equates to fewer expenses to the district. Propane school buses make sense for budget savvy transportation departments who are looking to save their school district some money.
In addition to reduced fuel and maintenance expenses, the incremental cost of a new diesel school bus and new propane school bus is shrinking. To help school districts with the small upgrade cost, there are many alternative fuel grants available from a multitude of sources from the state and sometimes nationally.
“There is some funding out there for school districts in Texas. It can be tough for school districts to keep track of all the alternative fuel grants that may be available to them. That’s where the Propane Council of Texas comes in,” states Jackie Mason, education & marketing director for the Propane Council of Texas. “We are a non-profit. We are here to help districts whether it is providing general education on propane school buses or help to find funding for propane buses.”
To find out more about propane-powered school buses and to contact the Council, visit FuelingTexas.com.
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.
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.
The Propane Education & Research Council is awarding $100 per tank-side connector and $1000 per hose-end connector through its Quick Connect Nozzle Rebate Program.
Using the quick connect nozzle has its advantages.
- Similar to refueling with gasoline and diesel
- May be operated with one hand
- Does not require the refueler to wear protective eyewear or gloves
- Are unable to be cross-threaded
- Release less emissions per connection
Click here to learn more or apply for the incentive.
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.
At the start of this year, more than 12,000 propane
autogas school buses were in operation at public
and private school districts across the U.S., an annual
increase of about 10%, according to figures from the
Propane Education & Research Council (PERC).
Propane autogas buses now make up more than 45%
of all non-diesel school buses used for pupil transportation.
“First-time adopters of propane autogas school
buses are converting entire fleets after they see for
themselves the advantages propane can offer everyone
involved, from the transportation directors to the bus
drivers to the students riding the propane buses,” said
Michael Taylor, PERC director of autogas business
development. “We expect more districts to turn to
propane throughout 2017 and beyond as transportation
directors learn of the lower total cost of ownership,
cleaner and quieter operation, and better maintenance
experience that a propane autogas bus fleet can
offer a district.”
According to the data, compiled for PERC by
IHS Polk New Registration figures, propane autogas
school buses are being implemented on a national
scale. The buses transport more than 700,000 students
in 600 districts across 47 states. The data shows six
states—California, Florida, Oregon, Pennsylvania,
Texas, and Wisconsin—each have more than 500 propane
autogas buses in operation within their borders.
Texas, with 2600 buses in operation throughout
the state, operates more than 20% of all propane
autogas buses in the country. New York boasts the
highest number of districts operating on propane,
with more than 50 districts. Five other states—Illinois,
Iowa, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Texas—have more
than 30 districts apiece using propane autogas buses in
Reprinted with permission from Butane Propane News (BPN).
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 email@example.com or at 817-695-9232.
Event commemorates 10th anniversary of meeting to make propane autogas a viable fuel for school transportation departments in Texas
AUSTIN, Texas (Dec. 2, 2015) — A celebration commemorating a decade of propane school buses was held on December 1, 2015 at the Texas Education Agency in Austin to coincide with Texas Propane School Bus Week.
The event was sponsored by the Propane Council of Texas in conjunction with the Propane Education & Research Council and hosted by Texas Commissioner of Education Michael Williams. Remarks from Williams and state Rep. Tony Dale highlighted the event.
Citing the vital role propane autogas plays in powering thousands of school buses in school districts across the state, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has proclaimed the week of Nov. 30 to Dec. 4 as Texas Propane School Bus Week.
The Texas House of Representatives, led by Dale, has issued a resolution celebrating the 10th anniversary of a group that met in Austin to discuss the concept and development of the first factory-built propane bus, expanding the choices for school districts interested in cleaner-burning bus options. Founders of the group were honored at today’s event.
“The state of Texas has accomplished a significant feat in the last 10 years in bringing clean and affordable fuel to so many school districts,” said Curtis Donaldson, president of CleanFuel USA and initial meeting attendee. “It’s a testament to the hard work of many people that, with a little ingenuity, we could bring a better alternative fuel option to school transportation throughout this state — and beyond.”
Since that first meeting in 2005, all three major school bus manufacturers now offer propane-autogas-powered buses. According to the Texas Railroad Commission, more than 2,600 propane-autogas-powered buses are currently in operation in school districts across the state.
More than 400 school districts throughout the United States are operating more than 7,000 propane autogas school buses on a daily basis. In all, more than half a million children ride propane autogas school buses to and from school.
“More and more school districts across the country are facing tighter transportation budgets and they must use their resources more wisely,” said Roy Willis, president and CEO of the Propane Education & Research Council. “Propane autogas school buses help districts lower their fuel budgets, but the benefits don’t stop there. Propane school buses improve passenger safety and reduce harmful emissions compared with their diesel bus counterparts, too.”
Many school districts report saving as much as one to two dollars per gallon with propane, and propane-autogas-powered buses require less maintenance over the lifetime of the vehicle, saving additional money on upkeep. These cost savings free up transportation budgets and give schools the option of reinvesting that money back into where it matters most: the classroom.
Propane autogas buses keep passengers safe by eliminating harmful carcinogens found in the exhaust from older diesel school buses. They’re also quieter than diesel buses, allowing drivers to hear better when picking up and dropping students off.
For more information on propane school buses, visit www.betterourbuses.com.
About PERC: The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) is a nonprofit that provides leading propane safety and training programs and invests in the research and development of new propane-powered technologies. PERC is operated and funded by the propane industry. For more information, visit propane.com.
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 www.fuelingtexas.com.