WASHINGTON - Nearly 1,000 fleet managers will have the chance to experience state-of-the-art propane-powered engine technology starting April 9 at the National Association of Fleet Administrators (NAFA) Institute & Expo in Charlotte, N.C.

Propane industry representatives from AmeriGas, CleanFuel USA, FerrellAutogas, Heritage Propane, Roush CleanTech and the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) will be on hand in the Propane Pavilion, booth No. 139, to discuss clean-burning, cost-efficient on- and off-road propane autogas vehicles with commercial and government fleet professionals. The event runs through April 12. 

"At a time when foreign oil prices have skyrocketed, propane is a high-performance, low-cost, domestic fuel that can help solve America's energy crisis," said Brian Feehan, vice president of PERC. "With 15 million vehicles fueled by propane autogas worldwide, this reliable and readily available fuel source is sustainable and environmentally friendly."

Featured in the Propane Pavilion will be a prototype Roush CleanTech Ford F-550 Super Duty chassis cab designed to accommodate a wide range of applications, including dump, landscape, flatbed, construction, waste, utility, freight and more. The truck was developed with support from PERC, which operates one of the world's largest sustained propane research and development programs. 

Other highlights of the pavilion will include a 4.6-liter Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, courtesy of Alliance AutoGas. The vehicle maintains the performance and safety of conventional gasoline-powered models while reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Its propane fuel tank is 20 times as puncture resistant as a gasoline tank, especially important in police cruisers. 

In addition to on-road vehicles, a commercial Encore Z-Turn propane-fueled mower from Heritage Propane will be on display. The mower, equipped with a 61-inch deck and a fuel capacity of about 15 gallons, has twin propane cylinders that swap out for easy refueling and minimal equipment downtime. 

"It's easy to see why propane autogas is the most common transportation fuel, after gasoline and diesel," Feehan said. "There are thousands of propane refueling stations across the United States, with stations in every state. And with government incentives encouraging the use of this fuel, it's not only an environmentally responsible choice but a good business decision for fleet managers." 

Propane burns cleaner in engines than gasoline and diesel, which results in longer engine life and reduced maintenance costs. Fueling on-road vehicles with propane autogas reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent and creates 20 percent less nitrogen oxide, up to 60 percent less carbon monoxide, and fewer particulate emissions than using gasoline. In mowers, the emissions reductions are even greater, with nearly 50 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions and 80 percent less carbon monoxide. 

After the NAFA Expo, PERC will host an online webinar in partnership with the Alternative Fuels Trade Alliance. The webinar will be an extension of training seminars funded by the Energy Department to address alternative energy topics such as safety, infrastructure, quality, technology, and the environmental benefits of propane autogas, ethanol, biodiesel, and compressed natural gas with fleet managers. The Alternative Fuels Trade Alliance consists of PERC, the Clean Vehicle Education Foundation, the National Biodiesel Foundation, and the Renewable Fuels Association. 

PERC supports the research and development of engines and vehicles running on propane. For more information on PERC and its programs, visit www.autogasusa.org. For more information on the NAFA Expo, visit www.nafainstitute.org.