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Sheriff converts two patrol cars to run on propane-based fuel

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The office of Alamance County’s sheriff has come up with a way to fuel its patrol cars that could be a real steal for the county – albeit in a purely figurative sense.

The sheriff’s office announced last Monday that it has struck a deal with a company called Alliance Autogas that will enable some of its vehicles to run on a propane-based fuel that’s billed as being both substantially cheaper and better for the environment than conventional gasoline.

According to the sheriff’s office, two of the agency’s vehicles will initially be converted to run on the new “bi-fuel,” which reportedly costs 40 percent less than traditional gas and churns out 30 percent fewer greenhouse emissions.

Although it will require $2,000 to upgrade each of these vehicles even after grant funding has been taken into account, the sheriff’s office ultimately expects to spend $8,000 less on fuel over the vehicle’s lifetime. The agency has also negotiated a pricing agreement with Alliance that guarantees a rate of $1.29 for each gallon of fuel it acquires over the coming five years.

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“We decided to enter this pilot program not only as a way to save money but to take steps to reduce our environmental impact,” sheriff Terry Johnson goes on to note in a news release about the initiative. “This cost-efficient solution is ideal for the number of . . . miles our deputies drive each day without sacrificing vehicle performance or power.”

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