Hi Pro Inc., a nationwide mail logistics contractor, will soon add five Class 6 medium-duty straight box propane autogas delivery trucks to its fleet. HPro has more 40 years of service history with the USPS and currently includes service in the Denver area.
The Colorado-bound vehicles are part of a $1 million research pilot project funded through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy.
“Our goal coming out of this project is to demonstrate real-world applications of propane autogas as an alternative to diesel-fueled trucks,” said Bonnie Trowbridge, executive director of the Denver Metro Clean Cities Coalition. “As a state that prioritizes sustainability, we’re especially excited to conduct this research in Colorado. This is an opportunity to study the air quality benefits of the ultra-low NOx propane engines and show that propane autogas is a viable clean energy source for fleets.”
The project, entitled “Delivering Clean Air in Denver: Propane Trucks and Infrastructure in Mail Delivery Application” will fund the purchase and deployment of the propane-powered logistics trucks and infrastructure. DMCC, in partnership with DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, will track data and performance measurements of the propane autogas trucks. DMCC will work with the Propane Education & Research Council to provide educational materials using the collected data.
“We are honored to be selected for this important research project and to reduce emissions in our community,” said Joshua Stoneback, CEO at Hi Pro. “Through this project, we will create a playbook for fleets to also go green with propane autogas. In fact, we would like to implement similar low-NOx emission fuel choices across the nation with the assistance of USPS and our partners in this Denver Metro project.”
The Ford gasoline trucks, will be upfitted with a propane system developed by Roush CleanTech. The conversion will employ ultra-low NOx engines, which in real-world testing reduced harmful emissions by 96% compared to diesel. The engine is certified to the optional ultra-low NOx CARB .02 standard, operating 90% cleaner than the EPA’s strictest heavy-duty standard. Each truck will also produce 281 metric tons of CO2 less per year than the same electric vehicle charging and operating using Colorado’s electric grid.
“Not only is propane autogas a near-zero-emissions solution that’s readily available today, it’s also the most cost-effective solution to reduce emissions,” said Stephen Whaley, director of autogas business development at PERC. “Propane autogas has the lowest total cost-of-ownership, providing a win-win for fleets and the environment.”
The vehicles and infrastructure will be delivered and installed later this year. The new propane station will be provided by AmeriGas.
“We are excited to get this project off the ground and to start supplying Hi Pro Inc. with domestic, clean propane autogas,” said Chris Ransom, national account manager - autogas for AmeriGas. “We’re ready to show that propane autogas can provide fleets with the performance and range they need while still achieving near-zero emissions.”