Duluth gets its first propane pumpComo Oil unveiled Duluth’s first gas pump dedicated to propane-powered vehicles.
By: John Myers, Duluth News Tribune
Last month, city officials unveiled the first electric car-charging station in Duluth. On Tuesday, Como Oil unveiled Duluth’s first gas pump dedicated to propane-powered vehicles.
The new propane pump is open all day every day, with drive-up convenience that gasoline and diesel fuel drivers have enjoyed for years.
The new pump is at Como’s bulk fueling station at 3002 W. Superior St., across Michigan Street from Clyde Iron. For now, customers must have an account with Como to access the self-service pump. Company officials hope to move to a credit-card option in the future.
Propane, which promoters call autogas, is considered cleaner burning and more efficient than gasoline or diesel, creating fewer emissions such as carbon dioxide that’s blamed for climate change. It can also be cheaper than traditional vehicle fuels and is produced in the U.S.
According to the Propane Education and Research Council, there are more than 270,000 on-road propane vehicles operating in the United States. Many are used in fleet applications, such as police cars, shuttles and school buses. The U.S. Department of Energy say propane engines are not only cleaner burning but can last twice as long as gasoline engines.
“Nationally, we are seeing bus companies, school districts, taxi cab fleets, police, and other municipal departments converting their fleets to propane,” said Will Norman, Como’s co-president and chief operating officer, in a statement. “Como is now able to offer this money saving technology to individuals and business owners with fleets of any size.”
Como says theirs is the first such pump dedicated to vehicle fills in the region, and that it’s designed to feel more like a traditional gas station fill-up.
The Boundary Mobil Mart in Proctor, at the corner of U.S. Highway 2 and Boundary Avenue, also can fill propane vehicles from 9 a.m. to midnight. Ferellgas in Superior and Virginia also is listed as able to fill vehicle tanks.
In the last year, Duluth-based Como has tested the cost savings for themselves by converting their fleet to run on propane.
“So far we have converted two fuel delivery trucks, two service trucks, two pickup trucks and a boom truck, used for setting propane tanks,” Norman said. The company plans to convert its entire fleet of vehicles to propane over the next few years.
The U.S. Department of Energy keeps track of the locations of propane vehicle refueling stations.