U.S. healthcare system successfully switches to Autogas, will convert all vehicles

Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System (SRHS), one of South Carolina’s largest healthcare systems, began looking for an alternative fuel option for its fleets in 2013 to help its region meet the state’s emissions criteria. That year they started working with Alliance AutoGas (AAG) to convert cutaway (wheelchair-equipped buses) and courier vehicles to LPG.

“The hospital had, from the president down, been looking at several different emissions reducing programmes for our fleets, and Autogas came out as the fuel of choice,” said Jimmy Riley, director of transportation services for SRHS.

AAG technicians performed the conversions on-site in one bay of the hospital’s existing garage, and trained SRHS fleet technicians to perform any future maintenance. AAG also installed the necessary tanks and fuelling infrastructure in 2014 so that the fleet was operational.

Now, SRHS plans to convert each new vehicle acquired. “It is a win-win for us due to reduced emissions coupled with financial savings and on-site fuelling convenience,” added Riley. “Autogas is a very reliable fuel. We have never had a vehicle breakdown as a result of using this fuel, which is important considering our success as a fleet system depends on reliably and efficiently transporting people to medical and other services they need.”

One bonus of SRHS using an alternative fuel for its vehicles is that LPG and the refuelling process are independent of electricity. This system allows SRHS to have an alternative fuel supply in the event of a disaster. In 2018, the hospital fleet provided emergency transport during Hurricane Florence. “Our Autogas programme secures a source of fuel for their fleet during times of emergencies. SRHS has travelled in other parts of South Carolina to provide transit service to those needing to be transferred away from the areas affected by an emergency,” commented Happy Fox, alternative fuel consultant for AAG.

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23 October 2019