North American recycled auto parts leader introduces new propane delivery fleet

LKQ Corporation adopts propane autogas for a fleet of 19 new trucks. This article was written by Triangle Clean Cities intern, Claire Kubitschek.

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LKQ Corporation announced the expansion of its Garner delivery fleet with the addition of 19 new trucks powered solely by propane at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 3, 2020, attended by project partners. A propane tank and refueling station were also installed on-site.

Project partners celebrate the launch of LKQ’s new propane-powered delivery trucks.

LKQ Corporation is the North American leader in recycled auto parts. When vehicles are totaled, LKQ receives the parts, repairs and resells them to the auto repair market. Of the steel, oils, fluids, copper wires, etc. in a car, 95% is recycled. The new delivery fleet will operate completely on propane, a cleaner-burning alternative to diesel that is produced from components that are recovered during natural gas processing.

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In addition, all future vehicles added to the fleet will use this alternative fuel. Propane reduces harmful emissions by 96% and has reduced costs when compared to its traditional fuel counterpart.

Previously, the corporation, which used petroleum-based fuels in all delivery trucks, reclaimed the gasoline leftover in the gas tanks of the totaled cars. The most expensive component of operating fleets is the purchase of fuel. Propane customers can enjoy 30-40% cost savings by choosing this cleaner fuel option. Clarence Wood Beasley of Greenwood Propane Autogas expects LKQ to displace in excess of 100,000 gallons of gasoline per year. 

Propane refueling station installed onsite at LKQ’s Garner facility

The use of propane as an alternative to diesel also contributes to improved local air quality across LKQ’s delivery footprint. The switch to propane will help to reduce the adverse side effects of the particulate matter and nitrogen oxides that are produced from petroleum-based fuel. 

Allison Carr, North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (CETC), mentioned that all of North Carolina’s 100 counties “currently meet national air quality standards.” This is something that could not have been said a few years ago. The CETC provided funding for the new propane trucks through its Clean Fuels Advanced Technology (CFAT) grant program.     

The transportation industry is the second largest consumer of energy in our nation today.  

Keven Ange, LKQ General Manager in Raleigh-Wilmington, North Carolina, expressed his excitement about the transition mentioning it was a “commitment to a cleaner environment for future generations.” He looks forward to growing their propane footprint with additional locations in Charlotte and Greensboro. The Garner area and its surrounding communities will be able to enjoy a cleaner and healthier environment.  

The new propane delivery trucks presented at the ribbon-cutting ceremony

This transition would not have been able to occur without the valuable partnership between LKQ, Greenwood Propane Autogas and Campbell Parnell. Monte McLeod, National AltFuels Program Director for Campbell Parnell, mentioned their partnership with LKQ “runs deeper than just providing propane technology.” It also includes vehicle conversion, infrastructure, fuel and service to ensure that the implementation of the program is as seamless as possible and successful in the long term.  

This successful initiative undertaken by LKQ is an industry-leading effort that Triangle Clean Cities is proud to be a part of. We are excited to see this productive partnership blooming in the Triangle area and plan to continue our mission of bringing alternative fuel types throughout the region.  

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