Hi Pro, Inc., a nationwide mail logistics contractor that services the United States Postal Service, launched a propane autogas vehicle fleet in Commerce City, Colorado. Hi Pro, Inc. CEO Joshua Stoneback unveiled the five, class 6 ultra-low nitrogen oxide (NOx) box trucks and state-of-the-art propane autogas infrastructure that will reduce emissions in the Denver metro.
Propane autogas trucks are proven to reduce greenhouse gases and NOx emissions to near-zero levels. Hi Pro’s propane trucks have a comparable lifetime low-carbon footprint to electric vehicles (EVs), but achieve those emissions reductions at a fraction of the price over the lifecycle of the truck, according to a press release. Each box truck will produce 281 metric tons of CO2 less per year than the same EV charging and operating using Colorado’s electric grid.
The ultra-low NOx propane vehicles, developed by Roush CleanTech, reduce NOx emissions by 96% compared to diesel. The engine is certified to the optional ultra-low NOx CARB .02 standard, operating 90% cleaner than the EPA’s strictest heavy-duty standard.
“With these propane autogas trucks, Hi Pro, Inc. will be environmentally sustainable and financially sustainable,” said Stoneback. “We’ve all felt the pain of filling up at the pump with gasoline or diesel. With propane, I won’t feel that anymore. The cost of propane autogas is a fraction of what I would be paying for diesel. And to top it off, the fleet is reducing emissions at the same time. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
Clean Air in Denver
The fleet and infrastructure, provided by AmeriGas, are part of a $1 million research pilot project titled, "Delivering Clean Air in Denver: Propane Trucks and Infrastructure in Mail Delivery Application." It was made possible by funds from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy and the work of Drive Clean Colorado. As part of the program, Drive Clean Colorado will work in partnership with DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory to gather real-world data on the vehicles to showcase the use of propane autogas as an alternative energy source. Drive Clean Colorado will work with the Propane Education & Research Council to publish its findings to demonstrate how other fleet owners can implement propane autogas into their operations.
“Commerce City is disproportionately impacted by poor air quality compared to other cities in Colorado,” said Bonnie Trowbridge, executive director of Drive Clean Colorado. “Launching these propane autogas vehicles, which are much cleaner than their diesel counterparts, will help to lower emissions to provide a better air quality for the community.”
A Greener Delivery Fleet
Hi Pro's move toward lower emissions comes as the USPS aims to electrify its fleet. Earlier this year, the Postal Service announced its plan to acquire up to 165,000 next generation delivery vehicles (NGDVs). A modernization plan for the nation's largest public fleet allowed it to expand the number of EVs in the mix. At least 50% of the initial 50,000 NGDVs the USPS is ordering will be battery-electric vehicles, built by Oshkosh Defense. They are expected to start servicing postal routes in late 2023.