Public fleets in Virginia making the transition to alternative fuels

A new executive order issued in July directs nearly all Virginia government vehicles to run on alternative fuels. The state has multiple alternative energy possibilities, including propane autogas, natural gas, electric vehicles and others. Our Program is already involved in getting public fleets up and running on an alternative fuel – propane autogas. Autogas has a proven record in fueling public and private fleets, including sheriffs’ departments, taxicabs and even limousines. Given the opportunity for statewide adoption in Virginia, propane autogas can showcase its clean and cost-effective features on a larger scale, bolstering its reputation in the state as an economical, eco-friendly energy choice.

The Commonwealth has already made some headway in transitioning to alternative fuels. The Southeast Propane Autogas Development Program (SPADP) has partnered with many public fleets to reach the goal of converting 1,200 autogas vehicles to autogas. The city of Newport News, Va. is converting 20 of its vehicles to autogas, while the Muscogee County Sherriff’s Office in Georgia began converting 20 of its vehicles to autogas last year. The office expects significant savings in coming years. “Using propane autogas in our Sheriff′s vehicles is beneficial for our community — it reduces harmful emissions, it′s domestically produced, and it′s going to save our county money on fuel costs,” said Muscogee County Sheriff John Darr.

Autogas can be a good choice for public fleets because it is clean, cheap and available now. With fewer gasoline cars on the road, Virginians can expect cleaner air, while public fleets will earn the distinction of being eco-conscious. A vast majority of the U.S. autogas supply is domestically produced, and there are nearly 3,000 private and public autogas fueling stations in the United States. These autogas stations are as user-friendly as those used for gasoline and diesel vehicles.

Alternative fuel vehicles are also eligible for a number of state and federal tax incentives, and the Virginia Clean Cities program is supporting fleets in the Southeast to convert fleet vehicles to autogas. Virginia Clean Cities believes that multiple alternative fuel technologies are critical to reaching the goal of petroleum displacement and lowered emissions. Propane autogas is one fuel that can yield measurable benefits for public fleets. This latest alternative fuel executive order is designed to lower fleet operating costs without disruption of operations, and it shows that the Virginian Commonwealth committed to a cleaner future.

Visit the Virginia Clean Cities website for a complete list of federal incentives and funding opportunities to green your vehicle fleet.