Sears turns to Seattle for propane proof

Sears has equipped 27 of its Home Services division vehicles with engines that run on propane gas as part of a broader energy management effort.

The efficiency initiative involving 27 Roush CleanTech Ford E-250 cargo vans fueled by propane autogas will be deployed in the Sears Home Services Seattle fleet.

"Propane autogas has proven safe, reliable and environmentally friendly, and we look forward to putting this fuel to work in our fleet," said Stu Reed, Sears Holdings SVP and president of Sears Home Services. "The conversion of 27 of our product repair vans to propane autogas is one of several initiatives we have underway to improve the efficiency of our fleet of 10,000 Home Services vans. If we get the type of efficiencies we expect by converting these vans to Roush CleanTech propane autogas we could scale this to all 10,000 service vans."

Propane provider Ferrellgas installed three 1,000-gallon refueling stations at two Sears full-line store parking lots and at one parts and repair facility in Seattle and the communities of Federal Way and Lacey.

It’s easy to Sears is intrigued by broader usage of propane for its 4,800 vehicle Home Services fleet. Fueling with propane autogas leads to significant reductions in exhaust emissions with up to 25% less greenhouse gases, 20% less nitrogen oxide and up to 60% less carbon monoxide than gasoline-powered vehicles, according to the company.

Historically, propane autogas costs 30% to 40% less per gallon than gasoline and up to 50% less than diesel. Vehicles fueled with propane autogas also offer reduced maintenance costs and the potential for extended engine life. In addition, propane autogas refueling infrastructure is less expensive than any other alternative fuel.

Other environmental steps Sears Home Services has taken include, a 'no idling' policy and installing 'economizer' devices on 4,800 service vans to ensure our technicians drive at speeds that optimize fuel efficiency.