AmeriPride Services Inc., a linen and uniform rental services provider, recently launched a pilot program to test three new types of alternative fuel vehicles in an effort to assess the impact on the company’s overall operations. Compressed natural gas (CNG), propane and plug-in electric vehicles will be tested this fall and throughout the upcoming year.
“We feel it’s our responsibility to consider and pilot programs utilizing alternative fuel options and support the advancement of these new technologies,” said Andrew Steiner, vice president of marketing and customer operations.
Five CNG trucks were deployed in Omaha, Neb., in August, and five will be deployed in Oklahoma City in October. In Omaha, the Metropolitan Utilities District is providing substantial discounts on fuel and has provided grant money to help offset the incremental “upfit” costs. AmeriPride also began testing five propane trucks in Topeka, Kan., this September. According to the company, preliminary estimates project a reduction of 17 percent in greenhouse gas emissions.
Electric trucks will be deployed in Fresno, Calif., and Los Angeles in 2014, and are expected to have lower maintenance costs and zero gas emissions. In addition, AmeriPride is eligible for state and federal government financial incentives for the incremental upfront costs of the vehicles.
“This alternative fuel program is a part of a larger company initiative to reduce energy consumption and our carbon footprint,” Steiner said, which includes replacing many of the company’s cargo vans with fuel-efficient sedans, rerouting a majority of its service routes to reduce mileage, incorporating better controls to reduce idling and speeding, and implementing improved training and communication with drivers to increase awareness and promote behavioral change.