A new group, described as “an important avenue to grow the autogas industry,” has been formed by ICOM North America (New Hudson, Mich.). Named the United Propane Autogas Solutions Group, or UPAS Group, it is a coalition of member companies designed to provide fleets a seamless, one-stop approach to autogas.

Members will include propane vehicle systems manufacturers, original equipment manufacturers and dealers, propane vehicle system installers and service locations, manufacturers and installers of fueling infrastructure, propane fuel suppliers/marketers, and fleets. UPAS Group says it will “enable a rapid and seamless integration of propane vehicles across North America.”
Albert Venezio, chairman of ICOM and who is serving as chair of the UPAS Group, notes that the collective will also serve as a buying group, with a discount provided to propane fuel supplier/marketer members who convert their vehicles to propane, but the “one-stop shopping” aspect is the main benefit of the network. The group helps fleets to get the optimal propane pricing, the best propane marketer to supply the fuel, the best fueling infrastructure, and the best propane system installer/service point.

Venezio has worked with buying groups during his years in the automotive industry and noted they work well. He added, “It’s comforting. The fleet is not just dealing with a company in Michigan when they’re in Alabama or Arizona, for example. After they find the right propane vehicle system manufacturer, who do they call next for fueling infrastructure? How do they find the propane marketer that understands autogas in their area and prices them competively? We just made it a lot simpler for them. It works well. We take away that unknown factor.