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How propane autogas fleets deliver affordability, resiliency and reliability every holiday season

Dec. 13, 2023
Pennsylvania-based USPS mail contractor on why they added propane autogas to fuel their fleets.

With the holidays quickly approaching, reliable performance from fleet delivery vehicles is of utmost importance. Being tasked with the need to be able to perform in cold weather and cover longer routes without the fear of range anxiety, all while meeting sustainability goals, is why fleets such as Nicholas Trucking Co., Inc., an 80-year-old, family-owned USPS mail contractor based in Pennsylvania, now operates safe, clean, economical trucks fueled with propane autogas.

From its low cost of ownership, proven technology, clean performance, and readily available and affordable refueling infrastructure, fleets like Nicholas Trucking trust propane autogas to fuel their fleets. Discover why below. 

Lowest Cost of Ownership

Conventional fuels deliver conventional results: volatile fuel prices, complicated maintenance, and higher emissions rates. With propane autogas, fleets save money on fuel and maintenance spending while also lowering harmful emissions. Nicholas Trucking cited the rising cost of diesel as one of the major catalysts for the company’s move to propane vehicles. Saving more than 53% on fuel costs and getting 37 cents per gallon in additional savings through the federal alternative fuel tax credit made transitioning to propane autogas an easy decision for Nicholas Trucking.

Proven Technology

More than 60,000 propane autogas vehicles are on the road today, including 7,000+ providing mail, package, and paratransit services. Propane autogas is a widely used alternative in urban and rural communities alike, allowing fleets reliable access to fuel to run routes without having to worry about recharging or range restrictions.

Nicholas Trucking notes that the switch to propane was well received from its staff. “There are a ton of things our drivers love about the new trucks. The power and torque are the same as diesel, and drivers don’t go home smelling like diesel fuel every day. They are surprised with the power a propane engine can produce,” says Alexander Nicholas, chief operations officer for Nicholas Trucking. “Our diesel engines do not do nearly as well in the cold.”

Cleaner Performance

Propane autogas is the most affordable and sustainable path to decarbonization and near-zero emissions for your fleet. Today’s engines are 90% cleaner than mandated EPA standards, with effectively zero particulate matter emissions. The latest propane autogas engine technology is classified as near-zero and has moved the fuel even closer to achieving zero emissions levels.

Nicholas Trucking runs multiple USPS delivery routes across Pennsylvania, and through this adoption is now providing cleaner air for the community. “Propane is familiar to all of us, and it’s something we can trust. It’s cleaner and safer than most other alternatives,” says Nicholas. “Our goal is to transition away from diesel and continually add more near-zero-emission vehicles to our 45-vehicle fleet.”

And propane autogas users can get awarded for using a cleaner energy fuel. Nicholas Trucking received assistance from the Eastern Pennsylvania Alliance for Clean Transportation and was awarded $93,000 through the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Driving PA Forward program to purchase three Ford F-750 propane vehicles. “Vehicles that run on propane emit fewer greenhouse gases, smog-producing hydrocarbons, and particulate emission than conventional fuels,” says Todd Mouw, executive vice president at ROUSH CleanTech, a manufacturer of advanced clean transportation technology. “Our propane engines are 90% cleaner than the Environmental Protection Agency’s most stringent standards.”

Appropriate Infrastructure

Propane infrastructure is affordable and scalable, no matter the size of the fleet. Convenient refueling infrastructure solutions are available to match your fleet size and budget, while local propane supplier contracts can reduce your investment even further, including no-cost options. By furthering goals of environmental sustainability without risking financial sustainability, propane autogas is putting more paratransit fleets on the road to continued success.

Nicholas Trucking elected to install fueling infrastructure on-site through a partnership with AmeriGas. “It’s great,” says Nicholas. “We don’t have to wait in line to fuel, we always know how much we have left in the tank, and we can easily track our monthly and weekly use. Plus, it saves on additional costs that a fueling station may charge.”

Nicholas Trucking joins a growing number of USPS mail contractors trusting propane to reliably deliver mail across the country. Learn more about making the switch to propane autogas by visiting https://propane.com/for-my-business/fleet-vehicles/