You usually don’t think of a bad-boy police cruiser being powered by alternative fuels, but that’s exactly what is happening at the Greenville County Sheriff’s Department.
That department has purchased 110 vehicles from Force 911, a Norcross, Ga., firm that converts gasoline-powered cars, trucks and vans to also use less-expensive and domestically-produced propane – the same propane that might heat your home.
The company on Tuesday was part of Alternative Fueled Vehicle Roadshow, which was making the second of three statewide tour stops at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. It is the first time the road show has rolled through South Carolina, and was an opportunity for promoters of alterative fuel vehicles to reach local government officials and municipal and private fleet owners.
“These folks often don’t have the money to travel to national trade shows,” said road show director Joy Kramer. “So we bring this don to the local level for free.
The series, which has been touring the Southeast for the past 18 months, has visited 33 cities.
The show included vehicles fueled by propane, biofuels, natural gas, electric and compressed natural gas. Experts were there to answer questions on cost, safety, maintenance and financing the vehicle conversions.
“The first reason you should get a propane vehicle is that it is less expensive,” said Whitney Dumont, who was driving a Ford F-150 pickup truck converted to use either gas or propane. “The second reason you should get a propane vehicle is it is less expensive.”
Propane has a higher octane than gasoline, Dumont said, and cost about $1.60 cents a gallon less. It is also cleaner burning and is produced in this country.
Driver’s can switch to either with the push of a button, even while it is rolling down the highway.