Autogas for America initiative launches to revolutionize American energy

Last week, Alliance AutoGas President Stuart Weidie unveiled Autogas for America -- a key initiative that aims to reduce American dependence on foreign oil and do away with thousands of tons of vehicle emissions.

To this end, the initiative aims to convince the companies that operate American vehicle fleets to switch to Autogas instead of using gasoline, and aims to bring together Autogas experts, environmental advocates and transportation-industry specialists.

The core goals of Autogas for America are for the company to put together a strong network of stakeholders, encourage American fleets to adopt Autogas, and educate the U.S. media, public and government about the fuel and its benefits.

The launch was announced to top Autogas industry representatives who attended Propane Days in Washington. Tucker Perkins (president of CleanFUEL USA), Richard Roldan (president of the National Propane Gas Association) and Andrew Peyton (vice president of sales and marketing, AmeriGas) joined Weidie on stage in order to detail the goals and message of the initiative.

Weidie, the founder of Autogas for America, said that it is a vehicle fuel that can help reduce the country’s dependence on foreign oil. Autogas for America supporters are currently bringing about changes to America’s fleets and the way they choose fuel. These fleets, said Weidie, are switching to economical, domestically produced and clean Autogas instead of using gasoline. He concluded by saying that America’s reliance on imported oil and regular gasoline devastates the country’s economic stability and its overall security—and Autogas for America can have a key role in achieving American energy independence.

Roldan said that in the past two decades, the number of American vehicles running Autogas has declined steeply. He said that it was time to reshape industry strategy, and that Autogas for America offered the best option to do so, offering as it does a new direction for the industry.

“Autogas” is the term given to propane when it is used as motor fuel. It is the third most widely used vehicle fuel in the world today, behind gasoline and diesel. However, America is home to less than 2 percent of the 14.6 million vehicles running on Autogas today. By mid-2013, Autogas of America hopes to increase the number of American vehicles using Autogas to 500,000 from 200,000.

Autogas is a clean fuel that is known for producing approximately 25-30 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline. It is economical, since it has significantly lower per-gallon and overall operating costs than gasoline itself. Since 90 percent of Autogas is domestically produced, it can play a leading role in energy independence. Autogas is the ideal fuel for both public and private fleet vehicles because Autogas fueling stations can be installed at fleet home bases for very low to no costs whatsoever. Focusing on fleets at the outset means that Autogas vehicles and infrastructure can be focused on at the same time. This can help build both a sustainable Autogas market and further grow the already 2,500-strong Autogas refueling-station network.

-Anuradha Shukla

Click here to view the story on tmcnet.com.

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