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Bus firm to open propane station

New Hampshire Union Leader

December 12. 2013 9:53PM

A Concord company that sells new and used buses will be the first to open a service-station like distribution facility of propane for alternative-fueled cars, the company announced.

Patsy’s Bus Sales plans a ribbon cutting Tuesday that is expected to include Mayor Jim Bouley, state environmental officials and clean air advocates.

“This is the first of its kind in the state that looks like a gas station,” said Dolores Rebolledo, who coordinates the Granite State Clean Cities Coalition for the state Department of Environmental Services. She said the station will feature a dispenser pump and a swipe to accept debit cards.

U-Haul and Energy North provide other, less traditional dispensers of propane for alternatively fueled cars.

The Patsy’s station will be at 112 Hall St., and be open 24 hours.

The Propane Education and Research Council estimates that 270,000 propane vehicles are on the road.

Rebolledo said it’s hard to estimate how many alternative fuel vehicles are on the road in New Hampshire, but efforts are under way to compile a database through the state Division of Motor Vehicles.

Schwan Frozen Foods, propane companies and school districts in Merrimack Valley and Cornish operate vehicles that run on propane, she said.

“Within five years, the numbers are going to be in the thousands,” she said.

No major automakers manufacture vehicles that run on propane, she said. But companies make and sell kits that allow many models to be upfitted to propane.

Roush Clean Tech, a company that provides upfitting kits, contacted Patsy’s about becoming a fuel distributor, Rebolledo said.

She said the propane, a by-product of petroleum refining and natural gas, is domestically produced, clean and cheaper to run than gasoline.

The fuel is also currently exempt from the state’s 18-cents gas tax.

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