SEATTLE - The fleet managers gathered around to hear the pitch from the California based company Blue Star Gas: Propane is the future. Propane has been slow to catch on in the United States, but Blue Star Company reps pointed out it has become the third most widely used fuel in cars on the planet.
"There are 17 and a half million vehicles around the world that are running propane auto gas," said Company President Jeff Stewart.
Stewart said, with unstable gasoline price, the time has come for propane to fuel some of this country's largest company fleets. They say it costs about a dollar a gallon less than gas, it's domestically produced, it's lower in harmful emissions and has comparable performance.
They can install the system on a typical gas engine so the car can double its range by running on both gas and propane. And they say when the car wears out, the propane system can be removed and installed on a the next vehicle.
The tanks are compact and can be installed in a typical trunk or pickup bed and to prove the tanks are safe, the company videotaped police officers shooting the tanks repeatedly without penetrating them. When they used a big enough rifle to finally blow a hole in one, it didn't explode.
The company is targeting corporate fleets for now. the cost of installing the equipment, $6,000, is too high for average motorists and there are few places for them to fuel up anyway. Companies that sign up get storage tanks installed on their own property for drivers to use before they begin each shift.
As for supply, propane is separated out in the refining processes of natural gas and gasoline so the company say there is ample amounts available.