Propane Autogas – Conversions and Infrastructure

ROUSH Offers Propane-Fueled Ford E-Series Vans

March 2010, Green Fleet Magazine - Feature

by Lauren Fletcher - Also by this author

ROUSH Performance now offers a propane-fueled line of Ford E-Series vans. Currently available for ordering, the propane-fueled E-150, E-250, and E-350 models began shipping in February to EPA states (non-Air Resources Board), and Air Resources Board states, such as California, in April.

Fleet manager interest prompted this next phase of the company's liquid propane-injected vehicles, according to Jack Roush, chairman of ROUSH Enterprises.

Todd Mouw, director of sales and marketing for ROUSH, said, "Fleet managers around the country were looking for a solution that could significantly reduce fuel costs and assist their green movement in reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) without compromising vehicle performance."

Fleets Save Fuel with Propane

As propane typically costs $1 or more per gallon less than gasoline, including available incentives, Mouw feels ROUSH delivered on fleet manager requests. Propane reduces GHG emissions by 24 percent, NOx by 20 percent, and carbon monoxide by 60 percent, according to Mouw.

Currently, Supershuttle is testing the propane vans at its operation at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix in addition to several other airport shuttle operators, such as the GO Transportation Network. Several beverage distributors are testing the technology before they convert a larger portion of their fleet to propane, according to Mouw. Additional companies will begin vehicle evaluations in 2nd quarter 2010.

ROUSH E-Series Low in Emissions

Offering fuel conversion solutions for passenger and cargo van applications, ROUSH propane-fueled E-Series vans meet super ultra low emission vehicle (SULEV) II standards. On average, a SULEV vehicle is 90-percent cleaner in emissions than the average new model-year car or truck, according to ROUSH.

The ROUSH conversion system works on the Ford 5.4L V-8 engine found in 2009 and newer vans, including the gaseous prep engine offered by Ford.

ROUSH performs OEM-style testing, including cold- and hot-start testing and high-altitude testing, on the propane-fueled vans to ensure they exceed fleet expectations.

The propane fuel tank replaces the OEM gas tank in the mid-ship location and provides a fleet 25 useable gallons or a 300 mile-plus range. Also, according to Mouw, since propane is a low-pressure fuel, providers such as Ferrellgas, Amerigas, and Heritage Propane are willing to install fueling infrastructure at the fleet location for little to no cost in exchange for a fuel contract.

The E-Series vans will be covered by ROUSH's 3-year/36,000-mile warranty. The conversion can be ordered on a ship-through basis to help reduce transportation costs, or conversion systems can be ordered and installed through any authorized Ford dealership for vehicles already in operation.

ROUSH is developing a propane kit for the Ford 6.8L V-10 engine for use on the E-450 Cutaway vehicle, scheduled to be available in late 2010.

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