CleanFUEL USA, a supplier of alternative fuel infrastructure and propane engine systems, announced the debut of its latest Liquid Propane Injection (LPI) system for the General Motors (GM) 6.0-liter engine. The new engine system will be available the first quarter of 2010 and the company is now taking orders to meet the increased demand for greener fleet vehicles, as the Department of Energy (DOE) starts to award stimulus funds this December. Propane projects were one of the largest beneficiaries of alternative fuel grants given under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), securing $33.5 million.
"Alternative fuel vehicle projects provisioned by the DOE are helping to propel the propane industry into a new phase, while CleanFUEL USA's new engine system provides a clean, high-performance option to make greener fleets a reality," said Brian Feehan, vice president of the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC). "Not only is propane an inherently cleaner and more economical fleet fuel but it is available here and now. CleanFUEL USA's 6.0L system will have a positive impact on reducing emissions and getting greener vehicles on the road in 2010."
The new 6.0L propane engine system is an OEM replacement for new gasoline powered engines, and is designed to convert light-duty fleets, such as passenger vans, shuttle buses, walk-in vans and utility and service vehicles to operate on propane. CleanFUEL USA's advanced LPI technology provides the same horsepower, torque and performance as gasoline-powered engines, yet produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions. When the 6.0L is made generally available early next year, it will be the first dedicated, GM light duty propane engine to be EPA and CARB (California Air Resources Board) certified. Systems are available through CleanFUEL USA Master Dealers and Preferred Installers.
"We have seen an increased interest in propane-powered vehicles as many of our customers look for greener and more cost-effective fleet transportation options," said Chris Weiss, vice president of engineering at Knapheide Manufacturing. "The CleanFUEL USA 6.0L LPI system is an alternative fuel solution to address these growing demands, and its innovative design is specially optimized for increased engine efficiency that can double engine life and significantly reduce maintenance costs for our customers."
Among all alternative fuel options available today, propane (commonly know as Autogas outside the U.S.) offers the best mix of vehicle driving range, durability and performance, and provides fleet operators distinct economic advantages over conventional petroleum fuels. Propane was recently identified as the most economical alternative fuel for fleets (on a per mile basis) when operating, ownership, and infrastructure costs are all taken into consideration. CleanFUEL USA's LPI system results in lower intake valve temperatures, denser air-fuel charges, greatly reduced criteria emissions and greenhouse gases, more complete combustion, and improved fuel economy and performance.
Under the ARRA, projects that include propane, among other alternative fuels, are aimed to improve the environment, support the development of a clean energy economy and reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil. As part of this initiative, CleanFUEL USA was awarded $12.9 million from the DOE to establish 186 state-of-the-art propane refueling stations in major cities across the U.S. The first station will be located in Houston, and CleanFUEL USA is hosting an event with its partners on December 8 to provide local fleet directors information on the latest propane developments, economics and government incentives. Additionally, attendees will have access to test drive various propane-powered vehicles. For more information please visit www.thinkgreenthinkpropane.com.
"Propane is the most widely-used alternative fuel, powering 300,000 vehicles in the U.S and 14 million worldwide according to the Global Autogas Network (GAIN). With help from various agencies such as the DOE and PERC, CleanFUEL USA is set on expanding propane options for fleets with innovative engine systems and refueling infrastructure," said Tucker Perkins, president and chief operating officer of CleanFUEL USA. "The 6.0L LPI system ushers in a new era of clean-burning, alternative fuel options for fleet owners nationwide that want to realize improved fuel economy, competitive engine performance and the lowest emission output for light-duty vehicles."