Business News

Palmer Gas Promotes Propane Auto Gas as Fleet Alternative
By Penny Williams

Clean Auto Gas, otherwise known as propane auto gas, is a safe, less expensive and environmentally friendly alternative to gas and diesel fuel. And propane is considered by many in the industry and by more and more companies to be the top alternative fuel. powering more than 17 million vehicles in 38 countries today.

Locally, Palmer Gas/Ermer Oil Company of Atkinson is a big proponent of propane as the top alternative fuel, especially for fleets of vehicles. Fleet managers find it cost-effective, clean, safe and reliable, Palmer officials say, and Palmer Gas/Ermer Oil Company General Manager Joe Trefethen noted that an added plus is that more than 90 percent of propane is produced domestically.

“A key factor is that propane as a fuel burns more cleanly, producing 60 percent less carbon monoxide, 20 percent less nitrogen oxide and 12 percent less carbon dioxide,” he said. “It is typically less expensive than gas or diesel and it is typically used by companies who use fleets of vehicles such as UPS. Blue Bird Bus Company is starting to see the advantage of running their buses on it.

“For the price of installing just one compressed natural gas station, you can install 10 propane auto gas refueling stations,” he added. “Having the refueling station on the company site is an economical and time benefit. Now vehicles can be serviced right there without having to go somewhere else to fuel up.”

Trefethen said contractors, school bus companies and other vehicle-dependent industries are looking at the possibility of converting to propane auto gas.

“National Park buses are using it because they want to use the cleaner gas provided to protect the environment,” Trefethen said. “We have a company in Windham that uses it and we have begun adding safe auto gas vehicles into our own company fleet. Right now we have three service trucks that are fueled by safe auto gas.”


Palmer Gas

Using their on-site Clean Auto Gas fueling station, Palmer Gas/Ermer Oil Company drivers are able to fuel fleet vehicles, just as they would at a typical gasoline or diesel station. Being able to fuel on site saves time and money. Photo by Penny Williams


Propane as a safe auto gas fuel has been on the market for many years. “But it has gone from primitive to more successful today, which is why we’re advocating for conversion,” Trefethen said. “It is more consistent and has greater performance than in the past. We typically recommend it to fleets but not so much to individual vehicles. The greatest success of Clean Auto Gas has come in fleet application. The on-site fill and refill is advantageous.”

Trefethen said the Propane Education and Research Council seeks to educate the public about this product, pointing to its being a cleaner fuel closer to home.

“Choosing American-made propane auto gas protects the environment while also boosting America’s energy security. Relying on gasoline and diesel, on the other hand, makes us dependent on imported oil, costs American jobs, and burdens your fleet with volatile pricing dynamics,” Trefethen said. “You can depend on more predictable, domestically produced propane auto gas. Light-duty vehicles fueled by propane auto gas emit 40 percent fewer smog-producing hydrocarbon emissions than gasoline. It’s an 80 percent reduction for heavy-duty propane-auto gas-fueled vehicles when compared with diesel.”

Companies or fleet owners interested in learning more about propane auto gas and its availability locally can contact Trefethen at 898-7986 or go to the Palmer Gas/Ermer Oil Company Web site at Palmer Gas/Ermer Oil Company is a family-owned propane and fuel oil company based in Atkinson.





















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