LPG + USA = MTS
In Europe autogas is used primarily by individual drivers in their passenger cars, especially since commercial vehicles run for the most part on Diesel engines. Across the Atlantic, in the US, it's very different – LPG is much more popular among company fleets. MTS (Metropolitan Transit System) of San Diego is one of the latest to have joined the club with the purchase of 77 propane-powered minibuses and paratransit buses. The former constitute 31 of the new purchase, 46 the latter.
The minibuses are based on Ford F-550 trucks, while the paratransit buses are built upon Ford E-450 vans. This is the end of an era, since the E-Series has been discontinued in favour of the European Ford Transit, although equipped with a 3,7-litre V6 petrol engine, unavailable on the Old Continent. All the vehicles in question here feature Ford's 6,8-litre V10 units, something unheard of in Europe for a car this size.
By choosing LPG, MTS seeks to cut their fuel bill as well as corporate emissions. Quite frankly, the expected emission reductions are spectacular – 2 million pounds of pollutants less each year and 7,8 million pounds of carbon dioxide less across the vehicles' entire life cycle. Carbon monoxide emissions will be slashed by 60% and particulate matter practically eradicated, compared to petrol-powered equivalents. If these figures fail to impress you, we don't know what will.
The buses feature autogas conversion kits developed and supplied by renowned specialists ROUSH CleanTech. LPG systems for Fords F-550 and E-450 are CARB- and EPA-certified, which makes them available for sale all across the US. ROUSH CleanTech has so far delivered over 14 thousand LPG-converted vehicles to fleets in America, of which 800 have been purchased by the transit sector.
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