The Polk County, Oregon, Sheriff’s Office is running 10 patrol cars converted to propane autogas, including seven Ford Crown Vics, two Chevy Tahoes and one Ford F-350 pickup truck; the office expects to save more than $20,000 every year by using the alternative fuel.
The law enforcement fleet began switching to autogas in March 2013 through Blue Star Gas, which provides the Alliance AutoGas program for West Coast fleets. Auto Additions of Salem performed the bi-fuel vehicle conversions while Blue Star Gas installed an on-site fuel station and delivers year-round fuel supply.
The sheriff’s office was looking for a way to save money on the fuel costs, as patrol cars travel an average of almost 25,000 miles each year and fuel bills are very noticeable each month. Not only is there a 50-cent-per-gallon federal tax credit for operating on alternative fuels like propane autogas, filling up with autogas also costs substantially less than gasoline. We expect to save thousands annually on fuel costs alone by operating autogas vehicles.—Sergeant Mark Garton, Polk County Sheriff’s Office
Sergeant Garton says the new clean vehicles could operate up to 10,000 miles between regular services since autogas is a cleaner burning, higher octane fuel than gasoline. Deputies say they haven’t detected any loss in vehicle performance since switching to propane-powered cruisers.
As part of Alliance AutoGas, Blue Star Gas provides a complete program to help fleets switch to propane autogas, including autogas vehicle conversions, fueling, fuel station installation, staff safety training and ongoing technical support. Alliance is the exclusive US distributor of autogas systems from Prins, a global provider of propane autogas engine technology. The versatile bi-fuel Prins Vapor Sequential Injection (VSI) system can revert to gasoline automatically if the autogas tank happens to run low, and can also be moved from retiring vehicles to newer ones with very little vehicle downtime.