After looking at natural gas and other alternative fuels, General Distributors decided to try out propane autogas in its beverage fleet to see how it worked.
“Cost savings and longevity both influenced our decision to switch to propane,” said Don Lewis, chief financial officer of General Distributors.
When it comes to cost savings, the beverage fleet has already saved approximately $10,000 in fuel costs in less than a year — from February 2015 to December 2015, according to Lewis. Currently, General Distributors pays around 50 cents per gallon for propane before taxes, a dollar less than the current rate they pay for gasoline.
With each van traveling 12,000 to 15,000 miles per year, the payback for the propane autogas conversions will be less than three years.
Additionally, propane autogas has cut the fleet’s greenhouse gas emissions by over 20%, said Lewis.
Founded in 1933 by Charles Fick Sr. and his brother George Fick Sr., General Distributors started selling the Olympia beer brand with three delivery trucks after the Prohibition was repealed. Now operating in 11 counties across Oregon, the beverage distributor currently runs 50 Chevrolet Express one-ton cargo vans from its facility in Oregon City.