Waynesville looks to diversify fuel use

The town of Waynesville plans to convert half of its fleet of police cars — 15 in all — to run on propane. Conversion kits have an upfront cost of $5,600 each. 

“The anticipated payback on propane conversions is between four and five years, but the life of our vehicles is between seven and eight years,” said Waynesville Town Manager Marcy Onieal. 

The additional tank will also allow the cars to travel up to 700 miles before refueling, though they’ll run on the cheaper propane fuel as much as possible. Propane costs about two-thirds as much as gas. 

It’s an effort that echoes one Jackson County kicked off last year, opting to outfit nine of its public transit vans with propane tanks, a decision that will save the county an estimated $26,000 per year in fuel costs. Haywood Public Transit also uses propane for its fleet.

— By Staff Writer Holly Kays

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