An Indiana group that facilitates the use of alternative fuels for both municipalities and businesses is taking part in a new regional initiative. South Shore Clean Cities, Inc is located in Crown Point and already works in cooperation with like agencies in Ohio, Michigan and Illinois in a program called Midwest Drive.

The initiative announced in February has the same primary goals as Midwest Drive – educating groups that may be the biggest users of fossil fuels in their fleets to the available technology and advancements in alternative fuel conversion – but in a more geographically-focused area. It’s called the Midwest Alternative Fuel Initiative. South Shore Clean Cities will work closely with its partner agencies, Chicago Area Clean Cities and Wisconsin Clean Cities, as well as a group of specifically-aligned companies, to reach out to potential clients in their coverage areas. The companies supporting the alternative fuels program are Advanced VTech, AGA Systems, Ozinga Energy and STAG USA, along with funding from Fifth Third Bank.

The Midwest Alternative Fuel Initiative partnership is billed as a “solution based” program utilizing natural gas or propane as a transportation fuel. It will be tailored to the needs of a particular municipality or business in the region, addressing emission reduction, conversion costs, fuel access and other day-to-day concerns of operation.

South Shore Clean Cities Executive Director Carl Lisek believes Indiana companies are especially positioned to take advantage of new technologies, thanks to major construction projects.

“We’re trying to work with road contractors and feel that at this stage, a lot of federal funding will mandate that they start moving toward an alternative fuel program and idle reduction mechanism. So this gives us the opportunity to work with these contractors and other fleets to help them get educated and to potentially get ready for some stipulated green contracts, allowing them to score some points as they apply for projects throughout the state.”

Lisek says working with Clean Cities is free to program participants, who may be surprised the array of offerings groups like the Midwest Alternative Fuel Initiative and Midwest Drive can present.

“We have over 42 different vehicles alone that are involved in the program,” he explains. “Certified systems are readily available for many late model domestic truck, SUV and car platforms commonly used by municipal, law enforcement, delivery and service businesses. And that will only grow as more organizations want to participate and demonstrate to our participants.” Risk free trials and grant application assistance are available.

The companies involved in the Midwest Alternative Fuel Initiative say the program creates an opportunity to capitalize on attractive incentives as well. Agencies and businesses taking part could see significant reductions in tail pipe emissions while fueling their vehicles at a much lower expense.

Lisek says overcoming misconceptions is a large part of the Midwest Alternative Fuel Initiative’s job, but believes the group is up to the challenge. 

South Shore Clean Cities Executive Director Carl Lisek explains that participation in the program is free.

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