LAKE CHARLES, LA - For 5 years now, the City of Lake Charles has been working to clean up our air by making simple changes. One of those changes includes the transition to alternative fuel sources for public works vehicles. The city recently purchased 2 new Ford E-450 propane fueled transit buses, adding to its growing fleet of propane-powered motor vehicles including pickup trucks, forklifts, mowers and buses.
It's all part of an effort to reduce green house gas emissions.
The transition from gasoline to propane as a source of fuel, Mayor Nic Hunter says has been quite simple..and overall will save the city and taxpayers money in fuel and maintenance costs.
"What we have seen internally and what studies have shown is that the maintenance costs on propane vehicles over time is a lot less than traditional gasoline or diesel vehicles."
Back in 2013, when the city began introducing propane to it's equipment, it was far less expensive than gasoline. So far, the city has implemented 34 propane powered mowers, 4 propane forklifts, 3 light-duty pickup trucks, along with the 2 new transit buses.
City councilman, Rodney Geyen said,
"These buses will be used as a model or a sample of what we intend to do with the larger buses because its all about saving and its all about ozone emission."
The city's fleet of propane mowers have helped reduce green house gas emissions by 23,000 pounds, just in 2016 alone.
As the price of gasoline continues to fluctuate, the push for alternative fuel sources seems more prevalent now than ever before. Maintenance costs savings as well as reduced emissions are the primary motivators for adding alternative fuel-powered vehicles. Propane mower carbon monoxide emissions are approximately 40 percent less than gasoline mowers.
The city of Lake Charles is a participant in Imperial Calcasieu Regional Planning and Development Commission (IMCAL) as well as the Air Quality Task Force of Southwest Louisiana. Among other goals, the task force aims to encourage emission reductions in ozone attainment areas to help them to continue to meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.