A gas pump at a filling station in Montreal on April 12, 2017. (The Canadian Press/Graham Hughes)

A gas pump at a filling station in Montreal on April 12, 2017. (The Canadian Press/Graham Hughes)

Light trucks are being converted to gas and propane in City of Chilliwack fleet

It came to light when tenders for certain trucks were deemed non-compliant without propane option

Converting the City of Chilliwack’s fleet of small and medium trucks to units that run on gasoline and propane might realize substantial cost savings for the Operations department.

The topic came up at the last city council meeting when Coun. Harv Westeringh noticed a requirement for “propane ready vehicles” in a staff report about a tender for the purchase of light trucks, like pickups and cargo vans.

All tenders for the quarter-ton truck were deemed “non compliant” because the factory-made vehicles available were not propane-ready.

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Operations director Glen MacPherson explained it was a requirement for all vehicles on that particular tender.

“No tender offered a propane ready engine which was a compulsory requirement of the tender specifications, as a result, all tenders have been deemed non-compliant and were rejected,” according to the explanation in the staff report.

Then Coun. Westeringh followed up with a second question during the meeting, asking if the game plan was to convert all city vehicles to a propane/gas unit.

The answer through the chair to the city councillor was: “Eventually most of the fleet will be converted to a combination unit, which will be propane and gasoline.”

Department staff have been conducting trials on fuelling costs, he noted.

“We are achieving fuel savings of up to 35 per cent,” said MacPherson about the units running on propane and gas.

“The cost of propane is substantially less than gasoline so we have embarked on program of conversion.”

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Chilliwack Progress