LIVONIA, MI - AmeriGas Propane, L.P. Chief Executive Officer Gene Bissell took a tour of the ROUSH Performance vehicle assembly area to see first-hand how the Michigan company is gearing up to convert thousands of gasoline engines in Ford trucks and vans to run on propane. At the end of the tour, Jack Roush personally handed him the keys to a brand-new 2010 ROUSH propane-fueled F-250 pickup, the first of many ROUSH vehicles to be added to the AmeriGas fleet.
Located in King of Prussia, Pa., AmeriGas is the largest propane retailer in the United States. Annually, the company serves more than 1.3 million residential, commercial/industrial, motor fuel, agricultural, and wholesale customers from 1200 propane distribution locations in 50 states. The company has a fleet of more than 2300 service and delivery trucks, and nearly 2500 bobtail trucks, all of which could eventually be eligible for a ROUSH propane conversion.
It only makes sense that propane marketers want to use what they sell to run their fleet vehicles.
"Ten or 12 years ago we ran almost all our service vehicles on propane, but they were not OEM-quality and we had a variety of service and warranty issues and we were forced back to diesel. Now that is changing with ROUSH offering a growing line of true OEM-level propane vehicles," Bissell explained.
"We are very excited to have Jack Roush, one of the best-known names in the automotive industry, endorse propane and have his company come out with quality propane-powered vehicles we can use in our fleets, and market to other fleets with confidence."
"ROUSH is taking a leadership role in helping to convert fleets to use propane as an engine fuel, and we need valued propane distributors such as AmeriGas to help spread the word," said Jack Roush, motorsports legend and CEO of ROUSH Enterprises. "Propane continues to be a leading alternative fuel that is available right now, at an economical price, and helps to reduce emissions which results in cleaner air for everyone to breath. It also lessens our dependency on foreign oil since 90 percent of propane is derived from domestic sources. I'm pleased to hand these keys over to Gene and welcome AmeriGas into the ROUSH family with this pickup."
ROUSH currently offers a variety of vehicles and conversion kits to switch Ford pickups and vans to run on propane with no loss or horsepower, torque or towing capacity. These include the F-150 (2007.5/2008 model years), F-250/350 (2009/2010), and E-150/250/350 (2009/2010) with the 5.4L, V-8 engine. The company is currently developing a propane conversion for the E-450 Cutaway with the 6.8L, V-10 engine.
Tax credits are available for both the incremental cost of the conversion kit, and on each gallon of propane used as an engine fuel for qualified users. Numerous studies have been conducted on the operational savings fleets can achieve by converting to propane as a motor fuel, and a savings calculator is available online at www.SwitchToPropane.com that allows the user to input variables specific to their usage. It is not uncommon for fleet managers to see savings of nearly $15,500 per van or truck over a total vehicle life of 150,000 miles.
As an alternative fuel, propane offers a variety of advantages. It is available "right here, right now" with a national infrastructure already in place. Propane burns cleaner than gasoline or diesel, with up to 20 percent less nitrogen oxide, up to 60 percent less carbon monoxide, 24 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and fewer particulate emissions when compared to gasoline. It is already the third most widely used fuel worldwide, following gasoline and diesel. Propane also plays a strong role in lowering our national dependence on foreign oil, as 90 percent of the propane used today comes from domestic sources of production.
Complete details on the ROUSH propane offerings can be found online at www.SwitchToPropane.com or by calling 800-59-ROUSH.