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Company uses alternative solution to gasoline for fleet vehicles

Posted 12/31/69

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – In a significant move toward promoting eco-friendly and cost-effective solutions for fleet vehicles, Precise Alternative Fleet Solutions, an alternative solution to gasoline …

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Company uses alternative solution to gasoline for fleet vehicles


Posted

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – In a significant move toward promoting eco-friendly and cost-effective solutions for fleet vehicles, Precise Alternative Fleet Solutions, an alternative solution to gasoline and diesel fuel through propane, recently opened its doors in Clay County.

The business, which launched two years ago in Michigan and conducted sales nationwide with a wide-ranging array of clients, including FedEx and other commercial fleets, businesses within the propane industry, law enforcement agencies, towing companies, and more, set its sights on the county earlier this year, conducting a four to five-month search before finally locking down their brick-and-mortar location this summer.

Precise has already expanded to four employees. But the impact on local jobs from the company selling the go-green, odorless, colorless propane could soon grow as it seeks to create even more job opportunities for county residents. Owner Ronny Martinez said his company has the potential to employ 15 to 30 people as they work to reach full production capacity. 

The company was given a warm welcome with a ribbon-cutting from the County Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 6 at their 989 Worthington Ave. address, just an earshot from the Green Cove Springs Marina and the County Port. 

“The ribbon-cutting was phenomenal,” he said. More than 60 attendees, including current and potential new customers, representatives from the propane industry, and community members, were on hand at the big event for a resource that could signal what the future looks like in the county.
Representatives from the Florida Propane Gas Association, which included Executive Director Dale Calhoun, were on hand to pitch attendees on the stability and cost-effectiveness of the fuel, along with everything propane had to offer.
“Today, we can actually introduce renewable propane. Most people think propane is just fossil fuels, but it’s not just fossil fuels. Yes, it comes from crude and natural gas, but you can have renewable propane,” Calhoun said.
The 7,000-square foot facility features 800 square feet of office space and an onsite fueling station that provides clients with service 24 hours a day, seven days a week with their 1,000-gallon propane tank. The digitally-operated system activates when drivers enter their PIN, mileage and vehicle number, which is connected to a network of 2,500 units across the United States.  

The company, which partners with Florida’s Finest Kustom Karts, which sells Golf Carts powered by electric and lithium batteries, provides clients with a wide range of services. They specialize in converting existing fleet vehicles to run on propane, which involves installing necessary equipment and systems and offering maintenance and support throughout the life cycle of converted vehicles. 

Precise also works closely with businesses to provide consultation and education about the benefits of using propane as an alternative fuel source. Martinez and his team explain the environmental and financial advantages of making the big switch. The 41-year-old spent 15 years in the alternative fuel industry and 21 in transportation.

But for the creative entrepreneur, the job isn’t done.

The county businessman, who recently closed on a deal for 80 vehicles for a Law Enforcement Agency in North Carolina, said that business owners that deploy fleet vehicles could see not only long-term savings but a return on investment on their decision to use propane in just six months to a year, depending on the vehicle. He said that this can allow business owners to reinvest in employee programs with savings, such as 401(k) plans and benefits. 

Propane-powered vehicles deployed at municipal, county or state levels for fleets like school districts, law enforcement and public works also have the potential to save taxpayer dollars with government incentives obtained by rebates and grants that encourage the use of alternative fuels.
Stipulations exist for converting a vehicle to propane. The cost typically ranges from $8,000-to-$12,000 to go green, Martinez said. However, an Alternative Fuel Tax Credit currently exists through the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, active until 2024. That allows consumers to save 37 cents a gallon to power a motor vehicle or forklift with the colorless, odorless fuel. 

The future for going green isn’t solely by going electric, as currently demonstrated by Martinez and others utilizing propane.
“Electric makes sense for your golf cart or grocery-getter, but it doesn’t make sense for your workhorse (vehicle) yet,” he said.
He isn’t discounting electric, but the future could be propane, as embodied in the company’s showcase truck, a 2024 GMC 3500, that was on display last week at Trunk or Treat at the Julington Creek, where Martinez and his team passed out candy and marketed their product to potential clients.

The truck has two separate fueling systems, gas and propane, and the 40-gallon propane tank adds 1,000 miles of range. The propane tank can be placed in the back of the pickup or where the spare tire regularly sits in the undercarriage, with a dedicated line to hook up propane right beside the gas pump.
“If you move products or people, then propane should make sense for you,” Martinez said.