Alternative Power No Longer Just Wishful Thinking
If I had to boil down what learned from attending the The Work Truck Show 2014, it’d be simple: there are a lot of viable options contractors have at their disposal to make huge cuts in annual fuel costs for operating pickups and vans.
Five years years ago the thought of me buying a pickup powered by propane or assisted by electric power would be out of the question. Those options were cost-prohibitive and relatively unproven.
Wow, how that mentality has changed.
Conversations with suppliers and manufacturers of alternative fuel solutions during The Work Truck Show revealed many wholesale propane suppliers are eager to sell autogas product in bulk to businesses and even set up a tank and refueling station for free as part of a multi-year contract.
I’ve been told such deals can lock in the price of propane autogas for a year, adding to an even greater cost savings compared to gas or diesel.
Then there’re the hybrid-electric alternatives we never had in years past.
Echo Automotive showed their bolt-on kit for 2015-newer GM gas-powered HDs that is said to cut fuel consumption by as much as 50% in city and stop/go driving situations.
The kit can be leased, too, for less than $200/month, which makes it that much more attractive.
If I were a landscaper or fleet manager of a utility company, my fleet of new pickups would be running propane, be up fitted with a hybrid-electric system, or a combination of both. — Bruce W. Smith