Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Lone Star Clean Fuels Alliance Celebrates 20 Years of Helping Clear Austin's Air


AUSTIN, Texas -- An Austin-based organization celebrates 20 years of being green, having started before being green was cool. The Lone Star Clean Fuels Alliance (LSCFA) precedes next week's Earth Day by hosting its 20th Anniversary Celebration today at the Palmer Events Center from 10 am-3 pm. The LSCFA, formerly known as Central Texas Clean Cities, is a U.S. Dept. Of Energy-recognized non-profit coalition dedicated to reducing petroleum consumption in the transportation sector. In addition to a ride-and-drive and exhibits with cleaner-burning alternative fuel vehicles and technologies from area companies, there is a luncheon (11:30), with an address by State Representative Drew Darby, honoring special guests including legislators and agency heads who have helped to grow this membership-based organization - one of 90 such in the nation. This coalition was the sixth in the U.S.

Austin's local Clean Cities coalition, LSCFA, has helped to clean up City of Austin fleet vehicles as well as other fleet and personal vehicles. In 2012 alone, its stakeholders reduced petroleum consumption by 1.6 million gallons, reducing GHG emissions by 10 tons. The largest fuels or vehicles Clean Cities helps to advance are propane, biofuels: ethanol/E85 and biodiesel, natural gas, electric and hydrogen.


"The decision to continue to expand the use of various alternative fuels for fleet vehicles is really a 'no-brainer,'" said Gerry Calk, City of Austin Fleet Director, and one LSCFA Leadership award winner. "Once you get past the hurdle of putting infrastructure in place - if needed - to handle the alternatives, everything else is a benefit. Alternatives have much less negative environmental impact than conventional fuels, are often lower cost fuels, and are domestically produced from renewable or more abundant resources. Maybe future generations will develop technologies to solve all our energy problems, but until then, alternative fuels are the way to go."

 "We are proud to have been involved with LSCFA since its inception 20 years ago," said Curtis Donaldson, managing director and founder of CleanFUEL USA, based in Georgetown. "As one of the first Clean Cities coalitions in the country, LSCFA has worked diligently to bring multiple alternative fuel solutions to fleets in our community while simultaneously helping to grow businesses like ours, who offer those solutions." CleanFUEL was the first company in the U.S. to develop liquid propane fuel injection systems and also offer propane autogas refueling solutions.


The LSCFA has assisted fleets like Ft. Hood, Cities of Austin and Temple, and R&R Bus and Limo to convert or switch to propane, natural gas, biofuels, hybrids and all-electric vehicles, as well as has grown an extensive Texas commercial propane mower presence. Stacy Neef, LSCFA Executive Director since 2001, said, "As a fuel-neutral promoter of alternative fuels, one of our greatest efforts continues to be to bring more alternative fuel infrastructure to the public, and this is finally taking off with lots of electric charging stations, as well as local stations for all these fuels. We strive to educate drivers and fleets of their alternative fuel options, some of which are already parked in their driveway."


The other Lifetime Achievement and Leadership award winners today are:

·         TX Education Commissioner/Fmr Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams

·         Former Mayor and Senator Kirk Watson

·         Former General Land Office Commissioner Garry Mauro

·         Railroad Commissioner David Porter

·         State Energy Conservation Office Director Dub Taylor

·         State Representative Tony Dale

·         State Representative Jason Isaac

·         State Representative Eddie Rodriguez

·         Former Program Manager of Austin Clean Cities Fred Blood

·         Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell (invited).

Vehicles available for the ride-and-drive today include personal and commercial, such as the Nissan Leaf and more, and run on electric, propane, natural gas, and E85.

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About the Clean Cities program: Clean Cities advances the nation's economic, environmental, and energy security by supporting local actions to reduce petroleum consumption in transportation. A national network of nearly 100 Clean Cities coalitions brings together stakeholders in the public and private sectors to deploy alternative and renewable fuels, idle-reduction measures, fuel economy improvements, and emerging transportation technologies.
About LSCFA: For 20 years, your Austin-area Clean Cities coalition has helped clear the air through various projects such as migrating City vehicles to alternative fuels, converting much of the booming landscaping industry in TX to propane mowers, incentivizing AE customers to ride electric bikes and scooters, and much more. In 1994, under the City of Austin, Austin Clean Cities was the 6th coalition to join the U.S. DOE Clean Cities Program and the first city to join that was in attainment for air quality. In 2000, the Coalition rebranded and expanded to Central Texas Clean Cities, covering Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties. Later, as part of Austin Energy, Ft. Hood joined the coalition, followed by the City of Temple. In 2012, the coalition reorganized into a DOE-recognized, membership-based, non-profit coalition named Lone Star Clean Fuels Alliance (LSCFA). In 2012 alone, our stakeholders reduced petroleum consumption by 1.6 million gallons, reducing GHG emissions by 10 tons.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

CleanFUEL USA Unveils Propane Industry’s First Fully Integrated Fuel Management System - CleanFUEL eCONNECT - at NPGA Expo

GEORGETOWN, TX –– April 10, 2014 – CleanFUEL USA, an industry leader in propane autogas technology, today announced immediate availability of the propane autogas industry’s first complete fuel network management system for electronic dispensers, CleanFUEL eCONNECT. Fleet managers can economically monitor and control fuel inventories faster and easier than ever before using CleanFUEL eCONNECT with real-time data insight, flexible report storage and remote access capabilities.


“While the fleet industry has made amazing strides in adoption of propane autogas, it has also lacked an economical and innovative solution at the pump that utilizes all that software technology has to offer,” said Curtis Donaldson, founder and managing partner of CleanFUEL USA. “CleanFUEL eCONNECT changes that, as we tap into the technology used by so many other industries for efficient and economical resource management to bring remote and real-time monitoring and control of fuel inventories to propane autogas fleets.” 

CleanFUEL eCONNECT is simple to use with in-dispenser operations as well as remote access and control capabilities from a computer, tablet or mobile device. The software offers dispenser diagnostics and real-time reports, which can be stored on a local computer, remote server or the cloud. Fleet managers can also customize CleanFUEL eCONNECT to meet specific data collection needs, such as vehicle mileage, fuel consumption and driver controls, all at a substantially lower entry cost with improved security over a standard dispenser.

Additional CleanFUEL eCONNECT options include keypad entry, card reader, RFID and key fob (Dallas button), as well as integrated printing. This new alternative fuel software technology is UL listed (class 1, division 2) and is approved for hazard material zones.

NPGA Southeastern Convention and International Expo – Booth #415
CleanFUEL USA will showcase two of its dispensers with CleanFUEL eCONNECT, a P6000 series and P2000 series, at the National Propane Gas Association Southeastern Convention and International Expo in Atlanta, GA, from April 12-14, 2014. Attendees can enter to win a new P2100 dispenser with CleanFUEL eCONNECT in the company booth #415; winner to be announced Monday, April 14.

CleanFUEL USA will also feature its Red Seal Measurement Neptune Mass Flow Meter, the most accurate and trouble-free meter on the market, which utilizes Coriolis technology. The meter offers a clear and uncompromised account of every dispenser transaction in real-time with remote access, and is available in all CleanFUEL USA refueling dispensers.

In addition, Freightliner Custom Chassis will feature a S2G with Linebacker Crane Truck body and CleanFUEL USA’s Liquid Propane Injection (LPI) system in booth #T-1543. Full production of the S2G chassis is expected by early summer.

About CleanFUEL USA:
CleanFUEL USA, the nation’s first developer of liquid propane fuel injection systems, is a leading manufacturer of propane autogas dispensers and refueling infrastructure. Headquartered in Georgetown, Texas, with an engineering division in Wixom, Mich., CleanFUEL USA celebrates more than 20 years of innovation. Setting industry standards with a complete alternative fuel solution, CleanFUEL USA products offer unsurpassed economic and environmental advantages. Learn more at www.cleanfuelusa.com.

Connect on Twitter (@CleanFUELUSA), Facebook (facebook.com/CleanFUELUSA), YouTube (youtube.com/CleanFuelUSA1) and LinkedIn (linkedin.com/company/cleanfuel-usa).


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Contacts
Gina Manassero
(512) 553-2387(512) 553-2387

Crystelle Markley
CleanFUEL USA
(512) 864-0300(512) 864-0300



Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Governor Signs Bill Creating Tax Credits For Alt Fuel Vehicles

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has signed H.B.348, which establishes a new tax credit program for the purchase of medium- and heavy-duty alternative fuel vehicles.

The two-year program, which will cover new assets purchased between July 1, 2015, and June 30, 2017, concentrates on vehicles that run on natural gas, propane autogas, hydrogen or electricity. These trucks and buses can be 100% OEM products, or they can be new vehicles that feature aftermarket alt-fuel systems "covered by the original equipment manufacturer or covered under separate warranties by the original equipment manufacturer and the third-party equipment manufacturer."

The parameters for medium-duty vehicles are commercial vehicles rated between 8,500 lbs. GVWR and 26,000 lbs. GVWR that run "solely" on an alternative fuel. Heavy-duty vehicles must have a gross vehicle weight ratio equal to or more than 26,001 lbs. and must be "primarily fueled by an alternative fuel" (operating on at least 90% alternative fuel and 10% or less gasoline or diesel).

For medium-duty vehicles, the tax credit is up to $12,000 per vehicle. A credit of up to $20,000 per vehicle will be available for heavy-duty vehicles. The cap on the credits for any taxpayer, whether an individual or a fleet, is $250,000 per tax year, and the overall program will be funded at $2.5 million per fiscal year.

The tax credits will be administered through an application process via the Georgia Department of Revenue, according to Deal's office.

"The vitality of Georgia's transportation system is essential to our economy, our environment and the consistent flow of goods, services and people throughout the state," Deal said. "Alternative fuel vehicles, especially trucks, help companies cleanly and efficiently transport their products, increasing our prominence around the world as a go-to location for business." Read more here.

Friday, April 4, 2014

FCCC delivers propane autogas-powered S2G test units

The first propane autogas-powered Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. (FCCC) S2G work truck has been delivered for field-testing to Amerigas. Full production of the chassis is expected to begin later this year.

Amerigas is part of a select group of customers who will be operating the new propane autogas vehicles in field tests ahead of full production, scheduled to being near the end of the second quarter.

FCCC delivered the S2G unit to representatives from Amerigas at the headquarters of project partner Powertrain Integration in Madison Heights, MI, on Monday. In addition to FCCC, Amerigas and Powertrain Integration, officials from CleanFuel USA, Signature Truck Systems and the Michigan Propane Gas Association were present at the event.

In all, 25 S2G units will be delivered to customers for field testing. The vehicle is equipped with an 8L LPG engine with factory-installed CleanFuel USA liquid propane system producing 339 hp at 4,100 rpm and 495 lbs.-ft. of torque at 3,100 rpm.

The vehicle features the Freightliner M2 cab offering a 30% larger windshield with sloped hood, a 55-deg. wheel cut for tighter turning and a GVWR of 33,000 lbs.

A 3-year/50,000-mi. warranty with towing and roadside assistance and 24/7 factory direct customer support is included. Read more here.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Success at the Propane Engine Fuel Summit

Last week 80 propane industry professionals joined the Propane Engine Fuel Summit in person at the Irving Convention Center, while 750 people tuned in on-line to watch and listen to the voices of the industry.

Now in its fourth year, the TSN-produced event featured 25 top industry leaders, including fleet managers operating the fuel in their fleet, vehicle and mower manufacturers, and executives from PERC, the Industrial Truck Association and the Green Truck Association.

While some industry experts dug deep into a topic related to their organization, others examined broader topics that hit home for everyone in the propane industry. ROUSH CleanTech’s president Joe Thompson homed in on the new processes in place at ROUSH CleanTech to ensure quality products. John Roselli, director of alternative fuels at Blue Bird, addressed safety and customer stories. And Curtis Donaldson, founder of CleanFUEL USA, encouraged all sectors of the industry — from mowers to fueling stations to school buses — to work together. He suggested that industry professionals see each other as partners, not competitors.

Speakers shared a wealth of propane knowledge, yet the resounding theme of the summit was simple: to be successful in the industry, take care of your customers and their needs.

The entire summit is available for viewing at PropaneEngineFuelSummit.com.

PERC Acknowledges Clean Cities Groups for Autogas Advocacy

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) has recognized five U.S. Department of Energy Clean Cities organizations with its inaugural Outstanding Propane Supporter award.

The winners include the following:
Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition works with a large number of propane stakeholders, including propane retailers AmeriGas, Blossman Gas, Ferrellgas and Heritage Propane, in addition to the Alabama Propane Gas Association and autogas vehicle technology company ROUSH CleanTech.

Greater Indiana Clean Cities Coalition managed a federal grant program that has put more than 1,300 propane vehicles on the road in Indiana to date. The coalition also helped facilitate the construction of 120 alternative fueling stations in partnership with eight other project partners, and has secured more than $22 million in federal and state grants since 2002 for coalition member projects.

Clean Fuels Ohio helps organize the state's Energy Independence Day event and actively promotes the use of alternative fuel vehicles. The coalition also works on a $16 million project that provides funding for conversions and infrastructure.

Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities is a major participant in organizing the Texas Alt Car Expo and helps fleets identify and obtain Texas grant funding for conversions. The group also works with the Texas Department of Transportation, Dallas County Schools, the City of Fort Worth and other fleet managers on new vehicle purchases and training.

Virginia Clean Cities managed a federal grant initiative that saw the conversion of more than 1,200 vehicles to propane autogas. The coalition created a propane subcommittee and hosts frequent webinars and events promoting propane autogas.

"Our Outstanding Propane Supporter award winners are examples of how public and private partnerships in the transportation sector are creating a cleaner future for fleets and communities nationwide," says PERC president and CEO Roy Willis. Read more here.