Franz Bakery, a long-time advocate for alternative fuels, will add 20 more propane autogas vehicles to its fleet this year.
Franz Bakery has used propane autogas vehicles for the past 30 years. In 1994, its efforts in sustainability earned the company the recognition as the “BEST Business for an Environmentally Sustainable Tomorrow” and the “BEST Innovation Award” issued jointly by the City of Portland, the Association for Portland Progress, and the Portland Business Journal.
Now, the company continues its commitment to alternative fuels through a partnership with regional propane autogas supplier Blue Star Gas. In 2012, the Blue Star Gas team converted 10 Franz delivery vehicles to propane autogas using the Prins vapor injection system. The new Alliance Engineered VSI-2 system will be used for the 20 additional delivery vehicles. The bakeries operates a total of about 125 trucks in the Portland area and has a total fleet of 1,770 vehicles.
“Propane autogas has been a great investment for us over the years,” said Tommy Moreno, Franz’s fleet manager. “Yes, it’s good business in terms of what we’re saving in fuel cost compared to gasoline, but the bigger benefit is to the community with our contribution to clean air.”
According to the Propane Education & Research Council, propane autogas emits 11 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared with gasoline and diesel, reducing short-term and long-term health effects in passengers.
“The contribution Franz has made to clean air in Oregon is substantial,” said Darren Engle, director of government relations for Blue Star Gas. “Oregon is a state that places high value on environmental quality and Franz Bakery continues to demonstrate that alternative fuels can reduce emissions, deliver exceptional performance, and add real value to businesses.”
The 20 additional propane autogas vehicles will be converted in the next year.
“In the end I think every business is looking for a better way to do things,” said Moreno. “When people see our delivery trucks around town they can’t see everything that’s gone into that decision. The technological innovations behind the Prins system, the state incentives that helped get these vehicles on the road, or the support of Blue Star Gas that helped make all of those things possible. People simply see us delivering bread, but it’s the way we’re doing it that’s remarkable and something we’re very proud of.”