New partnership promotes Autogas fleet conversions in Virginia

Phillips Energy, Inc., a fuel related energy provider in Southeastern Virginia, has partnered with regional automotive repair facility Harris Garage, Inc. on Autogas fleet conversion efforts. Working together, the companies are helping area fleet operators take advantage of government incentives to configure vehicles to run on LPG.

Recognising propane’s lower harmful emissions rates and other benefits, The Federal Highway Administration’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Incentive Programme provides funding to help state and local public fleets who meet certain criteria pay for Autogas conversions.

During the fleet conversion process, Phillips Energy technicians typically install stations and 1,000 to 2,000 gallon LPG storage tanks on site at the fleet’s headquarters. Meanwhile, fleet vehicles are taken to Harris Garage where service technicians install certified conversion systems that include an easily-connected wiring harness, LPG fuel tank and other bolt-on hardware. Factory vehicle warranties are not affected, and bi-fuel conversions are also available, enabling vehicles to switch between Autogas and their original fuel if desired.

Fleet vehicle conversions and pump station installations are economically priced, and a variety of grant funds are often available to help offset the costs, depending on whether the fleet belongs to a private company or a municipality. Funding may come from the federal government or organisations like the Propane Education & Research Council and the Virginia Propane Gas Association.

“We are proud to be further extending our service partnership with Phillips on such important and forward-thinking initiatives,” said Michael Harris, President of Harris Garage. “Autogas conversions are truly win-win propositions, and we are looking forward to helping more public and private fleets across our region capitalise on their many benefits.”

“I believe we have reached a real tipping point in the evolution of the Autogas movement,” said Elizabeth Phillips McCormick, Vice President of Phillips Energy and President-Elect of the Virginia Propane Gas Association. “Fleet conversions will become routine as more operators become familiar with the incentives and the economic advantages at stake, and their comfort level rises with respect to conversion efforts that are becoming ever more efficient in their own right.”

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