Largest Propane Vehicle Initiative Kicks Off
$342,000 Awarded for Vehicle Demonstration Projects, Marking First-of-its Kind Program for the Propane Industry

November 24, 1999

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Propane Education & Research Council (Propane Council) are pleased to announce the recipients of a jointly funded propane vehicle demonstration program. The award winners will receive $342,000 from DOE and the Propane Council to fund several projects. In addition, matching funds were contributed by the eight companies and municipalities-bringing the amount of the funded projects to over $1.2 million.

The purpose of the vehicle demonstration program is to identify and make public the air quality benefits of using propane, reduce foreign oil imports, expand the awareness of propane as a transportation fuel, and demonstrate the performance of propane fueled vehicles. The eight projects awarded are:

  • Mutual Propane, Ontario Airport- to establish a card-reader at the existing Ontario Airport for on and off-road vehicles ($26,000);
  • Salt Lake Newspaper Agency Corp., Salt Lake City, UT- to create a niche market for daily newspaper deliveries in remote, difficult-to-reach areas in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah ($25,000);
  • Suburban Propane, Norcross, GA- to assist in phase 1 of a propane infrastructure development project. This project supports the expansion of the propane vehicle market in Metro Atlanta and will be the foundation for a propane fuel network at U-Haul locations that serve the entire metropolitan area ($50,000);
  • New Jersey State, Trenton, NJ -to assist with refueling stations for existing and future propane vehicles ($27,600);
  • City of Portland, Portland, ME- to establish a propane-powered shuttle bus system to serve the ports of Portland by connecting the Portland International Jetport, the New Amtrak Station the Casco Bay Island Ferry and International marine Terminals and the METRO Pulse ($67,500);
  • Thermogas, Denver, CO- to assist in providing new propane refueling sites in the Denver area. The intent is to develop a model for establishing fueling sites that can be replicated in other Thermogas markets ($50,000);
  • Maricopa County, Phoenix, AZ- to create a niche market for trucks traveling daily to and from the outskirts of the county. It is the first use of propane fuel for the county on-road vehicles ($45,900); and
  • Ferrellgas, Kansas City, MO- to support the establishment of public access propane-fueling facilities at geographically distant locations ($50,000).

The DOE grant is one of several awards given through DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy/Office of Transportation Technologies. Earlier this year, DOE awarded the Propane Council grant funds totaling $250,000 to support vehicle test projects. It is the first time a federal agency has awarded the propane industry funds to support such an initiative. The Propane Vehicle Council is managing the overall program.

The Propane Education & Research Council is dedicated to promoting the safe use of propane gas as a preferred energy source through consumer education, safety and research projects. The 21-member Council was authorized by the Propane Education and Research Act of 1996 and created by industry referendum in 1997.