Public Works staff was invited by the City of Springfield to meet with their staff and vendors for a pilot project they began earlier this year. The project will install aftermarket liquid propane gas bi-fueling systems in 24 vehicles (17 police squad cars and 7 public works supervisor trucks), along with installing a liquid propane gas fuel dispenser for their City vehicles. This aftermarket fuel system allows vehicles to operate on either liquid propane gas or regular unleaded gasoline without a negative effect on the reliability or performance of the vehicle.
The City of Springfield is partnering with Lincolnland F/S for the installation of a fueling dispenser system at no cost to the City. Additionally, they have obtained grant funding from the State of Illinois and the Federal government to cover the cost of installing the aftermarket liquid propane gas system in their vehicles, resulting in no cost to the City of Springfield.
The City of Springfield estimates they will save up to 50% for fueling costs for these 24 vehicles versus refueling them with unleaded gasoline. They also plan to convert up to 200 vehicles in total to the propane bi-fuel system. There are four primary benefits the City of Springfield expects with this propane:
- Reliance on a domestically produced fuel source
- Using a fuel source that is cleaner for the environment
- Using a fuel source that is lower cost versus regular unleaded gasoline
- Potentially extending their preventive maintenance schedule, lowering overall maintenance costs for their fleet
Public Works staff will continue to monitor the City of Springfield’s pilot program in order to determine if this is a viable program to implement here at the City of Champaign.