LIVONIA, MI - Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is among the first, but certainly not the last, airport in the country to require servicing fleets to run their vehicles on an alternative fuel. This has left companies scrambling to fulfill the new regulations, and many are looking to ROUSH propane-fueled E-Series vans to meet the requirements.
As part of a city-wide push to reduce pollution, Sky Harbor has adopted alternative fuel rules for taxis (including limos and shuttles) that have permits to pick up passengers at the airport. These vehicles must use an approved alternative fuel, one of which is liquid propane gas. The ROUSH liquid propane injection system works on the Ford E-150, E-250, and E-350 chassis with the 5.4L, V-8 engine. Each has been EPA certified, with CARB (California Air Resources Board) approval pending.
With the ROUSH propane system installed, there is no additional weight added to the vehicle as with some other alternative fuel options. This means that stopping distance and brake wear will be comparable to a gasoline vehicle, as well as cargo weight capabilities. Furthermore, there is no loss of horsepower or torque running on propane.
The propane tank is installed under the vehicle in the same location as the OEM gasoline tank so there is no loss cabin space for cargo or passengers. The 25-usable gallon fuel tank offers a range of approximately 300 miles. The fuel system is covered with a ROUSH 3-year/36,000 mile warranty; the Ford warranty covers the remainder of the van and engine when ordered with the gaseous prep package now offered.
Numerous studies have been conducted on the operational savings fleets can achieve by converting to propane as a motor fuel, and a savings calculator is available online at www.SwitchToPropane.com that allows the user to input variables specific to their usage. It is not uncommon for fleet managers to see savings of nearly $39,000 per van over a total vehicle life of 350,000 miles.
"Using propane as an engine fuel in the taxis and shuttles makes complete sense simply by looking at the ROI (Return on Investment)," said Jack Roush, motorsports legend and CEO of ROUSH Enterprises. "Fleets in the people transportation segment can save thousands of dollars over the life of the van or shuttle and that alone is worth switching to propane. But if you factor in the cleaner emissions and reduction in foreign oil dependency then it really becomes only a matter of how quickly a company can bring these ROUSH propane vehicles into their fleet."
As an alternative fuel, propane offers a variety of advantages. It is available "right here, right now" with a national infrastructure already in place. Propane burns cleaner than gasoline or diesel, with up to 20 percent less nitrogen oxide, up to 60 percent less carbon monoxide, 24 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and fewer particulate emissions when compared to gasoline. It is already the third most widely used fuel worldwide, following gasoline and diesel. Propane also plays a strong role in lowering our national dependence on foreign oil, as 90 percent of the propane used today comes from domestic sources of production.
ROUSH is currently working with several operators in the GO Airport Shuttle services network to roll-out this technology. GO is the world's largest airport shuttle company which offers safe, friendly and economical transportation to and from more than 50 airports in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Scotland, England, France and Italy.
Complete details on the ROUSH propane offerings can be found online at www.SwitchToPropane.com or by calling 800-59-ROUSH. A ROUSH propane E-450 cutaway is currently in development and expected to be available in the fourth quarter.