National LKQ Company Adds 19 Propane Trucks to Fleet, Funded by NCCETC’s Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) Project
The national LKQ Corporation cut the ribbon last week on a brand new propane fueling system, announcing the expansion of 19 new propane-powered trucks in its delivery vehicle fleet at one of the company’s locations in Garner, NC. The new propane trucks, conversions and fueling system – which will help improve air quality in North Carolina and save the company on fueling costs – was funded by N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC)’s Clean Fuel Advanced Technology (CFAT) project.
The CFAT program, supported by federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement funds, works to improve air quality by reducing emissions from cars and trucks on the road. From 2018 to 2019 alone, the CFAT program helped convert a total of 128 vehicles to propane. Since 2006, NCCETC’s CFAT projects have reduced annual NOx emissions – the major pollutant of concern in North Carolina – by more than 224,000 kilograms. That is about the same as taking 225,000 sedans off North Carolina roads.
“Today, all 100 counties in North Carolina currently meet national air quality standards. We could not have said that five years ago,” said Allison Carr, Interim Training Specialist at the NCCETC. “Forward-thinking fleet organizations like LKQ are directly responsible for this achievement and for keeping our air clean.”
Also known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), propane is the world’s third most common transportation fuel, behind gasoline and diesel, and is considered an alternative fuel under the Energy Policy Act of 1992. Interest in propane as an alternative transportation fuel stems from its domestic availability, high-energy density, clean-burning qualities, and relatively low cost, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) website. Propane has been proven to reduce harmful emissions by 96 percent, compared to diesel.
LKQ Corporation is the largest North American provider of recycled auto parts for cars and light-duty trucks. Propane autogas vehicles fit well with LKQ’s business model, according to LKQ, as the company focuses on environmental sustainability and stewardship.
“The transition of our fleet of 19 delivery trucks to propane shows that we are continuing to express our commitment to a cleaner environment for future generations,” said Keven Ange, LKQ General Manager Raleigh-Wilmington North Carolina. “LKQ Raleigh is proud to support our team, employees, customers and our environment.”
“All of us locally – and LKQ – will benefit from a diverse fleet of vehicles,” Carr said. “You all know that concept of sustainability is about benefiting people, the planet, and prosperity. These vehicles will certainly support all of those goals.”
Campbell-Parnell, a company that works to promote a cleaner environment through the utilization of EPA-Certified alternative fuel conversion systems, provided LKQ’s new propane technology.
Greenwood Propane Autogas (GPA), an Alliance AutoGas partner operating in the southeast, partnered with LKQ on this project. Greenwood Propane said it will be proving the efficacy of LPG autogas technology with LKQ, and anticipates displacing an excess of 100,000 gallons of gasoline per year.
“We are hoping more fleets will investigate the domestic and financial advantages of clean burning autogas as an alternative fuel for current vehicles in their fleet,” said Clarence Wood Beasley of GPA. “After witnessing the success of this project, many fleet owners will question why they haven’t considered Autogas sooner.”
Also present at the ribbon-cutting ceremony was John Jessup, president & CEO of the North Carolina Propane Gas Association (NCPGA); and Steve Whaley, Director of Autogas Business Development at the Propane Education & Research Council.
“The NCPGA is proud to support companies like LKQ who fully commit to using a clean, efficient fuel like propane autogas to power their fleets,” Jessup said. “They are joining the hundreds of other Autogas fleets across North Carolina that have made the switch saving money and saving the environment.”
“The transportation industry is the second largest consumer of energy in our nation today. And the consumption of many of these fuels produce harmful emissions like particulate matter and nitrogen oxides, which are some of the worst contributors to respiratory illnesses,” Whaley said. “Today we get to celebrate the great success of a forward-thinking company making Garner and its surrounding communities much cleaner and healthier.”
LKQ is now looking to grow its propane footprint with additional locations such as Charlotte and Greensboro, NC.
“The NCCETC is grateful for LKQ’s partnership and work,” Carr said. “Our work to support clean transportation and sustainability requires the effort and partnerships of businesses and individuals across the state.”