JEFFERSON, GA - Jackson County Sheriff Stan Evans has converted his fleet of nine patrol vehicles to a hybrid propane fuel system. The County  intends to convert a total of 50 vehicles by the end of the year, according to the Web site,

"We are converting existing patrol cars that currently run on gasoline over to a bi-fuel hybrid vehicle that runs on gasoline or propane," says Jackson County Sheriff Stan Evans.

The conversion began on patrol vehicles that are seen out on the roads patrolling traffic. "We are starting with these vehicle because they are the highest mileage vehicles and working from there," Evans said.

Evans reviewed alternative fuels such as propane (LPG) and natural gas (CNG) as a way to reduce gasoline expense.

According to Evans, other benefits of propane include, "The price of propane is less than regular unleaded fuel, and we receive a 50-cent per gallon rebate from the government for using alternative fuel. Jackson County was able to purchase the propane systems on seized drug funds, meaning no taxpayer money was used in the vehicle conversions."

American Alternative Fuel of Castleton, N.Y., supplies the hybrid propane system. The propane conversion kit is designed so each vehicle has two independent fuels systems.

Geoffrey A. Hoffman of American Alternative Fuel explained how a hybrid propane vehicle operates. "The vehicle starts on gasoline every time, then builds temperature and switches to LPG within approximately a minute. The driver is able to run the car to empty on LPG and the vehicle will signal that it is automatically switching back to gasoline." Hoffman also stated the time needed to fuel a hybrid propane vehicle is substantially less than vehicles using natural gas.