LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State Representative Alma Wheeler Smith (D-Salem) announced that in an effort to promote her bills requiring State vehicle fleets to be converted to alternative fuels she will use a ROUSH® Ford F-150 powered by propane as her vehicle in the Ypsilanti 4th of July parade.
“It is important that we not lose sight of the goal of reducing our dependence on foreign oil and using cleaner more efficient forms of transportation, even when gas prices have dropped from the $4 per gallon we were paying last summer." said Smith. “I thought it was a great way to celebrate America's independence by driving a vehicle powered by American fuel.”
Smith introduced HB 5042 on June 4th and it is currently in the House committee on Energy and Technology. The bill would require that all of the State's fleet of "light duty" trucks purchased after October 1, 2009 be alternative fuel vehicles. HB 5042 also requires that 50 percent of all passenger vehicles in the State fleet be alternative fuel vehicles after that date and that all older vehicles in the State fleet be retro-fitted where the technology is available and it is cost-effective. Most estimates show that switching our lightweight truck fleet over to propane power would save the State approximately $4,000 per truck per year in fuel cost alone. The bill does not specify which forms of alternative fuel vehicles would be required.
"In a meeting recently with ROUSH® Industries we were told that for every 10 propane powered vehicles purchased 1 'green collar job' is created." Smith said, "Businesses like ROUSH® are ready, with minimal retraining necessary, to hire the skilled labor force in Michigan to produce products that save consumers money and are friendlier to the environment. We are thankful that ROUSH® has given us the opportunity to share this exciting vehicle with the Ypsilanti Community."
The Ford F-150 propane powered vehicle is a concept designed by Michigan innovator Jack Roush. All of the retrofitting of these trucks is done in Livonia, MI. Currently, ROUSH® Enterprises employs approximately 2,000 Michigan workers.
“We never stop thinking about the future at ROUSH®. With our corporate resources we have the capability to create new products that should help stimulate the American economy as well as reduce our need for foreign oil. We are looking forward to working with the state and local governments to help grow the job base and support our Michigan economy,” said Jack Roush, chairman of ROUSH® Enterprises, Inc. and co-owner/CEO of Roush Fenway Racing.