Alaskan government officials, operational experts representing North Slope companies, and other potential stakeholders recently met to discuss how Roush CleanTech’s propane autogas technology could promote job growth and environmental sustainability in the state. The conference was hosted by the Alaska Propane Technical Summit.
The summit followed a nine-month demonstration of two Roush CleanTech propane autogas-powered Ford F-250 pickup trucks, coordinated by the Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority (ANGDA), to give private and public fleets a comprehensive look into how this readily available alternative fuel performs in sub-zero temperatures.
“The concept of propane autogas [was] very well received at the Alaska Propane Technical Summit,” Todd Mouw, vice president of Roush CleanTech and a featured presenter at the meeting told Fleet Owner. “Propane is an Alaskan natural resource that can help fleets significantly reduce operating costs and harmful emissions. It is inexcusable that we are importing gasoline and diesel into the state when the solution is right in front of us. By tapping into this clean-burning, readily available resource, we can also create revenue and job creation sources for the citizens of Alaska. In order to get this done, we need to get all stakeholders together at the table, including government, producers, public/private fleets and energy experts.”
According to Mouw, the state of Alaska has been using one of the demonstration propane autogas trucks, and many private and public fleets in Alaska have been driving the second truck, including CH2M Hill, the State of Alaska fleet services, CONAM Construction, the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, and the City of Anchorage. The National Park Service in Denali National Park and Matanusaka Electric Assn. also plan to demo the vehicle. The Roush CleanTech propane autogas trucks weathered conditions up to 55 deg. F below zero.
Alaska state fleets typically operate on ultra low sulfur diesel, Mouw noted, which is hauled in by ice road trucks, a process that is not only dangerous, but expensive. Propane autogas costs up to 40% less than conventional fuels, and federal and state tax incentives, like a 50-cent per gallon federal tax credit, make propane autogas even more cost-effective. “This is an easy choice,” Mouw said. “Ultra low sulfur diesel costs $5/gal. or more to truck up to the slope. These fleets can save well over $4/gal. by switching to an Alaskan resource that is produced right on the slope.”
Harold Heinze, CEO of ANGDA, reinforced the message of propane abundance in Alaska.
“We actually re-inject millions of gallons of propane back into the North Slope every day,” he said. “We need to find good local uses for the vast quantities of propane our state produces, and propane autogas has the potential to accomplish this and so much more. Roush CleanTech has the on-road technology to employ propane autogas for all the construction vehicles used in this part of the state, turning a current liability into economic stability. Oil companies are among the heavy weights considering propane autogas as an option to power their fleet over diesel.”
Roush CleanTech offers dedicated liquid propane autogas fuel systems for a variety of light- and medium-duty Ford vehicles, including the F-150, F-250 and F-350 pickup truck series; the F-450 and F-550 chassis cab truck series; the E-150, E-250 and E-350 van and wagon series; the E-350 and E-450 cutaway van series; and the Blue Bird Propane-Powered Vision.