LIVONIA, MI - The advancement of propane-fueled vehicles, such as the ROUSH Liquid Propane Injection F-250 and F-350, are included among the projects awarded $300 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The funding will help put more than 9,000 alternative fuel and energy efficient vehicles on the road, and establish 542 refueling locations across the country. The Department of Energy also estimates they will help displace approximately 38 million gallons of petroleum per year.

Motorsports legend and ROUSH Enterprises Chairman Jack Roush, a long-time propane advocate, sees the announcement as a positive first step towards greater adoption of this alternative fuel.

"Propane has so many positive aspects and it is finally getting the recognition it deserves as an alternative fuel that is available right here, right now," said Roush in a company statement. "Propane can help to lessen our dependence on foreign oil, clean up our environment, and create new 'Green Collar Jobs' for displaced auto workers who can return to the lines to build alternative-fuel vehicles."

Propane is already the third most popular motor fuel (behind gasoline and diesel), and there are already more than 10 million propane-fueled vehicles on roads across the world. However, here in the United States only 200,000 vehicles are propane-fueled, but the Clean Cities Grants will help to increase those numbers over the coming months.

On the topic of propane, Roush said, "It's as American as NASCAR. More than 90 percent of the propane used in the United States is produced in North America, much of it from the U.S. natural gas supply. You can get it anywhere you buy propane for your barbecue grill, RV, or home heating unit."

And as a green fuel, on average, propane fleet vehicles reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 19 percent and create 20 percent less nitrogen oxide, up to 60 percent less carbon monoxide, and fewer particulate emissions, compared to gasoline.

ROUSH, considered Detroit's foremost Tier 1 advanced powertrain engineering company and well known for producing massive horsepower from gasoline engines, has turned its resources toward helping fleet customers save money and reduce greenhouse gasses by utilizing propane as an engine fuel. The company launched a propane F-150 in 2007 and has plans for several additional vehicles over the next few years.

Stay tuned for Jack Roush's interview in the upcoming fall 2009 Green Fleet, a supplement to the September issue of Automotive Fleet.