DALLAS - Vehicles fueled by propane autogas and propane-fueled commercial mowers made a strong showing among fleet managers at this year’s Green Fleet Conference. The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) has been at the forefront of this year’s show, providing fleet managers with information about available equipment, refueling infrastructure implementation, and reducing costs and emissions with propane-fueled equipment.

“We had a very productive two days highlighting different propane-fueled engine technologies and how they can remain cost-effective while reducing a fleet’s carbon footprint,” said PERC consultant Greg Zilberfarb. “We’ve seen a lot of interest from fleet managers who want to incorporate a domestic, alternative fuel into their operations.”

PERC’s Propane Autogas Pavilion displayed both on- and off-road uses of the alternative fuel.

The 2011 Propane Hero Award was presented to Frito-Lay by the Texas Propane Gas Association and Dr. Robert Cluck, the mayor of Arlington, Texas. Frito-Lay recently implemented Roush CleanTech E-350 rear wheel (DRW) cutaway chassis for product deliveries, and was the first fleet to incorporate this alternative fuel system into its operation. The company chose propane autogas not only for its high performance and cost savings but also to clean up the air in its community.

Vehicles fueled by propane autogas produce fewer emissions than gasoline- and diesel-fueled vehicles, reducing short- and long-term health effects in passengers. These vehicles emit 12 percent less carbon dioxide, about 20 percent less nitrogen oxide, and up to 60 percent less carbon monoxide than gasoline-fueled vehicles.

During the Green Fleet Conference ride and drive event, attendees were able to experience the power, performance, and ease of operation of vehicles fueled by propane autogas. The featured products included a 2009 bi-fuel Chevy Silverado, a 2011 GMC Sierra truck, a 2008 Ford F-150, a 2011 Ford F-250, and a 2011 Ferris/Snapper Pro commercial mower.

During a special PERC-moderated panel discussion titled, “What Fleets Need to Know About Propane Implementation,” fleet operators provided details to attendees on their use of vehicles fueled by propane autogas and how the models were incorporated into their fleets. Panelists included Tom Armstrong of ThyssenKrupp Elevator Americas, Michael Baessler of American Residential Services, and Wayne Corum of the City of Forth Worth, Texas, along with Todd Mouw of Roush CleanTech.

Zilberfarb, Mouw, and Armstrong were honored by Green Fleet magazine as three of its 40 Sustainability All-Stars. The trio was recognized for their commitment to advance sustainability and alternative fuel innovations and reduce emissions through involvement with the fleet industry.

The Propane Education & Research Council was authorized by the U.S. Congress with the passage of Public Law 104-284, the Propane Education and Research Act (PERA), signed into law on October 11, 1996. The mission of the Propane Education & Research Council is to promote the safe, efficient use of odorized propane gas as a preferred energy source through research and development, training, and safety initiatives.