A Word from Weidie: The Alternative to CNG

Natural gas has been making headlines lately as the answer to our nation’s clean energy crisis–but is it really the most cost-effective alternative fuel option for America’s fleets? Stuart Weidie, president of Alliance AutoGas and founder of Autogas for America, tackled this very topic in a letter to the Edmond Sun yesterday. We’ve posted his thoughts in full below:

EDMOND — To the Editor:

Regarding the recent article about lengthy refueling times for the City of Edmond’s compressed natural gas vehicles (“City’s bus conversion to natural gas hits snag,” The Edmond Sun, March 14, 2012), city officials should know about another abundant, American-made alternative fuel that will save money on fuel costs, while also taking much less time to refuel.

Propane autogas is clean-burning, yields savings of more than $1.25 per gallon and achieves 90 percent range compared to gasoline. Autogas technology is also much more cost-effective to implement than CNG. While converting light-duty vehicles to CNG can costs tens of thousands of dollars, propane vehicle conversions run about $5,500, according to fueling and conversion network Alliance AutoGas. You can install 15 autogas stations for the price of one CNG station.

In addition, filling up a propane-powered vehicle takes the same amount of time as fueling a traditional gasoline vehicle — while, as the article stated, fueling CNG vehicles can take upwards of 45 minutes, even for fast-fill stations. This is lost time that translates to more vehicle and personnel down-time, and money lost for both commercial and private fleets.

Fleet owners and managers are beginning to realize that the upfront costs associated with natural gas are more significant than industry lobbyists would have us believe. In the past two years, many have looked to propane autogas for a clean fuel solution that’s affordable and accessible to American fleets. Autogas and natural gas are both environmentally friendly, domestically produced and cost less than gasoline per gallon — but autogas is simply more practical in terms of upfront costs, logistics and implementation.

Stuart Weidie
Swannanoa, N.C.

STUART WEIDIE is president of Alliance AutoGas and founder of Autogas for America. More information may be found at www.autogasforamerica.org.

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