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County Receives Grant to Convert More Vehicles to Propane

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. – Gaston County Public Works announced today that it received a $70,000 grant in the Spring of 2020 through the Clean Fuel Advanced Technology Project (CFAT) and has completed conversion for ten county vehicles to LPG, or liquefied petroleum gas (propane).

The newly converted vehicles use a bi-fuel system to burn liquid propane gas provided by Blossman Gas. Located in Belmont, Blossman is a founding member of Alliance AutoGas, which is the nation’s only complete program to help fleets shift from gasoline to autogas. Blossman also installed two fueling stations for County use.

Multiple County departments use the vehicles, including Access, Public Works, Building Inspections/Code Enforcement, and the Sheriff’s Office. Since 2011, the County has converted 40 vehicles to LPG; thirty-eight of them are still on the road, as two have been placed into County surplus due to age/mileage.

Propane Vehicle     Propane Vehicle

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) provided the funding for the CFAT grant, and the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center administered those funds to NC counties that wanted to increase the utilization of alternative fuels and advance transportation technologies.

The County converted to propane in an effort to continue its mission to reduce harmful emissions and fuel costs. Propane is an effective way to make a more positive impact on the environment, as it is a low-carbon alternative fuel and produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions than most other sources of energy. Statistics show that propane produces 43 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than using an equivalent amount of electricity generated from the grid.

Light Duty Vehicles

Moreover, propane runs an average of 30% cheaper than gasoline and reduces more emissions per dollar spent than any other fuel. In 2019, with the previous vehicles already on the road, we saved an estimated $17,400. The additional estimated fuel savings for the current 10 vehicles in Q1-3 of 2020 is $3000. The Covid-19 pandemic slowed most of the vehicles’ usage between April and June.