Business News for Bellevue and the Eastside of Lake Washington

Washington Police Department Among First to Adopt New Alternative Fueling Technology in U.S.

The City of Edmonds Police Department recently announced the adoption of new low-emissions propane fueling technology as a part of its continued commitment to alternative fuels.

For nearly two years, the department has operated 14 propane autogas patrol vehicles, which reduce fuel cost and emissions compared with gasoline vehicles. In an effort to further reduce emissions, Edmonds PD is one of two Northwest fleets to adopt the Stäubli fueling nozzle and dispenser. Blue Star Gas, the department’s fuel supplier and one of the region’s largest propane distributors, brought the low-emissions alternative-fueling system from Europe to the Northwest.

“With the Stäubli refueling technology, operators are no longer required to wear personal protective equipment during fueling, and the nozzle releases next to zero emissions,” said Darren Engle, Director of Government Relations for Blue Star Gas. “Overall, this technology simplifies the fueling routine and creates a system similar to that of traditional fuels. It’s an important step toward normalizing alternative fuels within our transportation culture.”

Manufactured in Europe, the Stäubli dispenser nozzle and connector was recently brought to the U.S. by Alliance AutoGas. Blue Star Gas, a member of the Alliance AutoGas network, is facilitating Stäubli adoptions in the Northwest as part of an initiative to drive nationwide implementation of the technology. According to Engle, the robust alternative fuels program at Edmonds PD made the department an ideal candidate for adoption of the fueling technology.

“We’re delighted to be part of this effort,” said Edmonds Police Chief Al Compaan. “The new technology will improve the overall quality of our alternative fuel program and will provide for a simplified, quicker and more environmentally friendly fueling procedure that my police officers will like.”

Blue Star Gas will oversee the installation of the nozzle and dispenser at Edmonds’ existing fueling locations and teach fleet personnel how to operate the new technology, while the City of Edmonds is tasked with replacing the filler receptacle on each vehicle. Edmonds police officers could be using the new system as soon as March 2015.

“On the surface, changing a fueling nozzle may seem like a small step, but this is a significant move for the propane autogas industry,” Engle said. “It adds one more competitive edge to the equation so, as a result, you can expect to see propane autogas at more service stations across the country.”

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