Harrisonburg, VA — April 16, 2010 — Partners of the Southeast Autogas Development Program will mark the commencement of the project with a partner kick-off meeting Friday. The program, which received $8.6 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will increase the number of autogas vehicles and refueling stations in the United States.
Awarded to the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, the grant will help convert about 1,200 gasoline-powered vehicles to run on clean, economical autogas and will help fund the implementation of at least 17 autogas refueling stations across nine southeast states. Virginia Clean Cities, part of the nationwide network of Clean Cities Coalitions working to reduce petroleum consumption, and James Madison University will act as project managers. The project will put more alternative fueled vehicles on the road than any other Clean Cities-supported program.
“Virginia Clean Cities is very pleased to meet with all the partners as we prepare for the implementation of this wide-reaching and innovative project,” says Chelsea Jenkins, Executive Director of VCC and recipient of the 2009 Clean Cities Coordinator of the Year award. “This program is a leap in the right direction, helping us to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lessen dependence on foreign oil.”
Vehicles in public and private fleets, including taxis, limousines, and vans, will be converted to run on autogas, the most widely-used alternative fuel in the world. Alliance AutoGas, a national clean vehicle coalition, will coordinate the vehicle conversions and fueling. Alliance AutoGas founding partners Blossman Gas and American Alternative Fuel, as well as a number of Certified Conversion Center partners, will perform the vehicle conversions and provide both public and private fueling infrastructure.
“We are encouraged that this grant provides an opportunity to showcase the viability of autogas and its benefits,” says Alliance AutoGas President Stuart Weidie. “Autogas is recognized as the number one alternative fuel worldwide — it′s almost entirely domestically produced and is available right here, right now.”
The vehicles converted under this program are projected to displace more than 15 million gallons of gasoline over the four-year period, and since autogas vehicles experience significantly lower emissions than gasoline and diesel vehicles, the project will significantly reduce harmful emissions.
Autogas vehicles are on the rise around the world. In the past 10 years, the number of autogas vehicles has grown from 7.5 million in 2000 to 14.6 million in 2008. Of those, fewer than 200,000 are in the Unites States.
The Southeast Autogas Development Program will meticulously track the results of the conversions, including the number of gasoline gallons displaced and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. A comprehensive, public website will be launched later in 2010 to display the details of the project.
About The Program
The Southeast Propane Autogas Development Program is comprised of public and private partnerships throughout nine states in the Southeast U.S. and Washington, DC. Over its four-year span, the program will put more than 1,000 clean autogas vehicles on the road and implement more than 25 autogas fueling stations. Supported by funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the U.S. Department of Energy′s Clean Cities Program, it is managed and administered by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy and VCC at James Madison University. To learn more, visit www.usepropaneautogas.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.