07/27/11 Lt. Governor Becky Skillman today joined Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) officials to announce that nearly 600 INDOT work trucks and cargo vans are being converted to run on cleaner-burning, domestic propane. To be fueled at 115 INDOT sites covering the state, the propane vehicles are projected to save taxpayers more than $1 million in fuel costs each year.
“As INDOT’s 115 facilities come online, Indiana will have the nation’s largest statewide propane fueling network, with nearly all of its operations being within 30 miles of a fueling site,” said Lt. Governor Skillman said. “This investment in fueling infrastructure paves the way for additional purchases of propane vehicles.”
A byproduct of natural gas processing and crude oil refining, about 90 percent of propane comes from domestic sources. Propane is the third largest motor fuel behind gasoline and diesel, but generates 75 to 90 percent less carbon monoxide, ozone and hydrocarbon emissions. Power, acceleration and fuel economy are comparable to gas or diesel engines, but with current fuel prices, propane costs about half as much per gallon.
INDOT is also purchasing an additional 19 yellow plow trucks to run on compressed natural gas (CNG). Once fully operational, CNG and propane are expected to replace more than 500,000 gallons of unleaded gas or diesel each year.
“As fuel costs skyrocket, state government is protecting taxpayers by seeking out cleaner-burning, domestic energy sources and technologies,” said INDOT Chief of Staff Robert Zier.
Ranging from light duty to heavy duty, the INDOT work trucks and vans serve a variety of purposes for the agency. They move personnel, equipment and material to and from the job site for maintenance crews, construction inspectors, signal technicians and other functions.
Lt. Governor Skillman oversees five state agencies, including the Indiana Office of Energy Development. A $6.3 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant through OED and Greater Indiana Clean Cities, which is part of the U.S. Department of Energy Clean Cities Program, provided the start-up investment for INDOT infrastructure and vehicles.