The Polk County Sheriff’s Office expects to save more than $20,000 every year by running 10 patrol cars on propane autogas, including seven Ford Crown Victorias, two Chevy Tahoes, and one Ford F-350 pickup truck. The law enforcement fleet began switching to autogas in March 2013 through Blue Star Gas, which provides the Alliance AutoGas program for West Coast fleets. Auto Additions of Salem performed the bi-fuel vehicle conversions while Blue Star Gas installed an onsite fuel station and delivers year-round fuel supply.
Sergeant Mark Garton says the new clean vehicles could operate up to 10,000 miles between regular services since autogas is a cleaner burning, higher octane fuel than gasoline. Deputies say they haven’t detected any loss in vehicle performance since switching to propane-powered cruisers.
Propane autogas is the most widely used alternative fuel in the world, with a total of 18 million autogas vehicles globally. U.S. autogas fleets currently save upwards of $2 per gallon on fuel costs versus gasoline, and they also save money on maintenance since autogas is cleaner than gasoline. Autogas is also a domestically-produced fuel, with 98 percent of the U.S. autogas supply made in America.