ICOM Believes U.S. Clean Cities Grant Will Boost Propane, CNG use



NEW HUDSON, Mich., Sept. 30, 2009 – Icom North America, a leading supplier of alternative fuel systems and tanks for commercial and passenger vehicles, believes the recent U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grants to Michigan and 24 other Clean Cities clusters of government-industry partnerships, will stimulate use of liquefied propane, compressed natural gas (CNG) and other “clean” alternative fuels.

Ralph Perpetuini, CEO of Icom North America, said federal funding of advanced vehicle technologies will go a long way in putting more fuel-efficient vehicles on the road and establishing hundreds of refueling stations.

“In Michigan, the Clean Energy Coalition’s ‘CEC Michigan Green Fleets Initiative,’ will receive nearly $15 million to fund more than 270 alternative fuel vehicles and 19 alternative fueling sites throughout the state,” he said.

DOE estimates that Michigan’s use of propane, CNG, electric and hybrid-electric vehicles will contribute to the displacement of 1.3 million gallons of petroleum per year.

Clean Energy Coalition member-organizations also will conduct public education and training programs to help reduce the demand for petroleum.Every dollar in federal funding will be matched by nearly two dollars from local project partners.

Icom believes the federal government partnership with local Clean Cities organizations in major Michigan markets will cause fleet owners and consumers to seriously consider propane or CNG vehicles.

“Icom has developed a CNG system for gasoline vehicles which is a major breakthrough in terms of performance, torque, drivability and technology,” Perpetuini said. “It allows end-users to enjoy the benefits of clean, alternative fuels without the major compromise of lack of performance.”

Icom is preparing to certify a number of engine families, utilizing its unique CNG technology, to best meet the needs of the U.S. market.

“Right now, it’s mostly commercial vehicles using propane and CNG,” Perpetuini explained. But Icom’s proprietary vehicle conversion systems can be used on any gasoline fuel-injected car or truck. A gasoline-electric hybrid Saturn Vue, customized by Rick Bottom Designs of Mendota, Ill., was converted to propane-electric by Icom with CleanFUEL USA of Georgetown,Texas. The popular crossover vehicle was publicly displayed in Michigan for the first time at the Michigan Clean Transportation Expo, in Novi, to demonstrate the versatility of propane.

“Propane and natural gas vehicles provide a ‘clean’ balance of fuel economy, performance and dramatically-reduced emissions,” Perpetuini explained. “Icom’s JTG liquid-propane injection application is a fully-integrated, dedicated or bi-fuel engine system designed in harmony with OEM gasoline engines.

“Drivability, performance and torque are equal to or better than conventional fuels, and propane exhaust creates 60-70 percent less smog-producing hydrocarbons than gasoline,” he continued.

As gasoline increases in price, propane and natural gas continue to have a cost advantage, with more than 90 percent of the nation’s propane and natural gas coming from U.S. and Canadian sources, further reducing dependence on foreign oil.

Icom’s vehicle conversion systems may utilize the company’s proprietary Toroidal Tank, developed and manufactured by parent company Icom S.p.A. of Cisterna di Latina, Italy. The company is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2009. More than 100,000 vehicles worldwide have utilized the Icom JTG Propane System since 2004. Icom has manufactured more than 2.5 million toroidal tanks.

Icom North America is a supplier to CleanFUEL USA, Blue Bird Bus Corporation, Roush and various other vehicle manufacturers.

About Icom North America, LLC

Icom North America, LLC, founded in 2004, is the U.S.-based affiliate of Icom S.p.A. of Italy, a pioneer in the development and manufacture of liquid propane and natural gas (CNG) conversion systems and tanks for commercial and passenger vehicles. The company assembles the Icom JTG Liquid InjectionPropane vehicle conversion system and additional Icom products, including the proprietary Icom Toroidal LPG Tank, for commercial and passenger OEM and aftermarket vehicles in North America and selected other markets. North American headquarters are in New Hudson, Michigan.

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