Food and beverage fleets are moving toward the use of propane autogas as a fuel source with increasing numbers. From such fleets as Bimbo Bakeries to Alpha Baking company, more and more fleets in the food and beverage vocation are seeing the benefits from this domestic alternative-fuel.
"Our costumers get peace of mind knowing the factory warranty is still in place. Our technology is propane liquid injection so the horsepower and torque curves are the same as gasoline. The liquid injection also helps in extremely cold weather, eliminating the cold-start problem that fleets had 15-20 years ago with older vapor propane systems," said Todd Mouw, VP of sales and marketing for ROUSH CleanTech. "We have worked very hard the past 24 months developing the cleanest burning engine in the medium-duty space from a NOx perspective. Propane is a domestic energy source. Couple the fuel and maintenance savings with a much cleaner burning fuel, and we have a perfect fit for Class 4-7 delivery applications that are used every day in the food and beverage industry."
Because propane is moved as a liquid at relatively low pressures, it allows ROUSH CleanTech to package enough fuel on the vehicle to give it a comparable range to gasoline and diesel without compromising the utility of the truck.
"There is no difference in appearance than with conventional trucks since our fuel tanks are packaged under the steps of Class 6-7 delivery trucks," Mouw said. "Fuel infrastructure is inexpensive to install and maintain. There are dozens of propane companies that will lease this equipment for little to no cost in exchange for a fuel contract. In most cases, if the maintenance garage used by food and beverage fleets is up to code for working on gasoline and diesel trucks, no shop modifications are required for propane. We still recommend that our fleet partners talk with the local fire marshal as a part of the process."
In addition, ROUSH CleanTech is a Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier (QVM) for propane. According to Mouw, this means the Ford OEM warranty remains intact when the trucks equipped with Ford’s gaseous prep engine package convert to propane with ROUSH CleanTech technology.
According to ROUSH CeanTech, the price of propane has been very stable over the last several decades, trending from 40% to 50% less than diesel. Based on current supply and demand, this price stability and the gap between propane and diesel should continue to widen. The U.S. produces more than 21 billion gallons of propane annually but only consumes 9 billion through various energy uses such as home heating, forklifts, transportation, etc. That delta is expected to continue, which will result in great value pricing for our fleet customers.