Alternative Fuels Trending for Fleet Vehicles - WBAY

Alternative Fuels Trending for Fleet Vehicles

Fox Valley -

With tight budgets, many companies and organizations are always looking to cut costs. And as technology has evolved, so has the use of alternative fuels as a cost cutting measure.

The Winnebago County Sheriff's Office has almost two dozen cars in its patrol division fleet. Next year it will replace about a of third of those cars and they will all be retrofitted with a dual fuel system. Not only will the new cars be able to run on regular petroleum, but they will operate on propane as well. It will take the department three years to convert all of its vehicles.

"The patrol division is doing around 64,000 gallons of fuel a year which at today's price at the pump puts us right around $220,000 a year in fuel costs. Propane is projected right now at $1.50 a gallon which that same number now becomes $96,000 dollars," says Captain Todd Christie about the car conversion.

The sheriff's office isn't the only fleet moving toward alternative fuels. The trucking industry is too. In fact, U.S. Oil officials tell us the company is seeing a huge demand for its compressed natural gas sites. The company already has nine active sites that sell its CNG and its in the process of building twelve more - with additional sites for CNG pumps in the works.

Bill Renz from U.S. Oil says, "We've signed deals with fleets as far west as Denver. We just recently signed a deal, a few deals in Pennsylvania. We're putting one just south of Birmingham right now so as there is interest from fleets we're building out basically to fit their needs."

And when businesses and organizations are pinching pennies -- using alternative fuels can be a cleaner way to save even more.

Says Captain Christie, "Right now we run a three year rotation with our squads. We know what kind of maintenance that requires for us to us to pay for. We know how many miles we're putting on a year and potentially if we have less wear and tear on our engines we may be able to run a vehicle four years instead of three."

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