Newly released details on the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Discretionary Grant Program (CFI Program) provide an opportunity for communities to drastically reduce emissions and provide access to clean transportation by investing in propane autogas refueling infrastructure or propane-powered recharging stations.
As part of the program, $700 million will be made available through grants for publicly accessible fueling and charging infrastructure within a community or projects to support the nation’s alternative fuel corridors.
Details about the Fueling Grant Program
The program, which will award $2.5 billion over five years, will prioritize rural areas and low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. According to the Propane Education & Research Council, as an affordable, portable, and available energy source, propane is an ideal solution for these prioritized categories.
“The goal of this program is to rapidly improve access to alternative fuel options and ensure energy equity by doing so in areas that have been historically underserved,” said Steve Whaley, director of autogas business development with the Propane Education & Research Council. “The fastest and most-cost effective way to achieve that goal is by implementing propane autogas refueling and propane-powered recharging infrastructure. Both options are affordable, available, and can accelerate our nation’s decarbonization and clean air efforts.”
For agencies interested in implementing propane autogas solutions for medium-duty (Class 3-7) fleets, PERC noted that propane autogas is an ideal choice with features including:
- A range of up to 400 miles on a single refuel.
- The performance to carry heavier payloads.
- The affordability to provide the lowest total cost-of-ownership.
Additionally, PERC noted that the cost to purchase and install refueling equipment for a fleet of medium- or heavy-duty propane autogas vehicles is a small fraction of the cost to purchase and install fast charger equipment for charging a comparable electric vehicle fleet in a comparable time frame.
Fleets looking to maximize their investment can implement solutions that include options for various alternative fuel vehicles within the same infrastructure. One example is the portable dual-purpose standalone fueling system from Propane Fueling Solutions can refuel propane autogas vehicles through a propane tank and dispenser and recharge EV fleets with DC level 3 fast chargers by utilizing a microgrid powered by renewable energy sources like wind, solar, and a propane-powered generator.
The infrastructure provides a resilient and affordable charging option that operates independent of the grid. In most cases, lead times for ordering this equipment are weeks instead of months or years for other alternatives. Because it can be portable and installed in as little as 24 hours, PERC shared it doesn’t require the same site prep, permanent housing, or other costly charges that are incurred with permanent infrastructure, cutting costs by as much as 75% or more compared to traditional EV charging infrastructure.
“Whether agencies choose to implement propane autogas refueling stations or propane-powered recharging, the real winners here are the communities that benefit from the cleaner air,” said Whaley. “Today’s propane autogas engines reduce harmful nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 94%, and propane-powered generators for light commercial microgrids are significantly cleaner than diesel with near-zero NOx and carbon monoxide emissions, as well as a 24% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.”
When do you need to apply by? Applications must be submitted electronically through Grants.gov no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on Tuesday, May 30, 2023.