The US Department of Energy (DOE) awarded $12.9 million in two stimulus grants to CleanFUEL USA to establish more than 100 liquid propane (autogas) refueling stations in major US cities in coordination with CleanFUEL USA partners, including ConocoPhillips. Other supporting partners include the Texas State Technical College, the Central Texas Clean Cities Coalition, Rush Truck Centers, 16 additional area Clean Cities Coalitions and the Propane Education and Research Council.
The program will roll out in two phases and focus on cities that have a presence of existing and potential autogas fleets, autogas fuel availability as well as available staff and resources from the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC). The first station will be installed in Atlanta followed by Chicago, Houston, Denver and Sacramento. The second phase will target 14 cities (Kansas City, Los Angeles, San Antonio/Austin, Oklahoma City, St. Louis, Phoenix, Seattle, Dallas, Orlando, San Diego and Baton Rouge, Lake Charles and New Orleans—making up the Louisiana I-10 corridor, which runs East-West close to the Gulf of Mexico) with most refueling sites strategically located along major interstate highways and interchanges at existing ConocoPhillips branded retail stations.
The DOE estimates the initiative will provide the equivalent of more than 3 million gallons of petroleum annually. In addition to installing autogas refueling stations, the project scope involves marketing campaigns to surrounding municipal, state and private fleets about autogas vehicle options (e.g. school buses, shuttle buses, medium and light duty trucks, etc.), and economic and environmental benefits of using one of the nation's most readily available, domestically-produced alternative fuels.
There are more than 300,000 Autogas-powered cars and trucks on the road and more than 5 million forklifts operating in the United States today. A significant number of these vehicles are in and around the targeted metropolitan areas where CleanFUEL USA plans to build out the national refueling autogas network in collaboration with its partners.