Member Profile

The City of Kingsport’s Autogas Program is an ongoing project within the Kingsport fleet to convert vehicles in various departments to Propane autogas. The project began in earnest in 2008, and has progressed significantly in the past 5 years; the City of Kingsport is now in possession of the largest municipal alternative fuels fleet in the State of Tennessee.

Since inception, the propane autogas fleet in Kingsport has rapidly expanded. The fleet now counts police cars, service trucks, city sedans, and mowers among its vehicles, and more conversions are on the way in 2018 and 2019. As of May 30, 2018, the City of Kingsport currently has 96 propane-powered vehicles operating within its fleet, including 2 new propane mowers that have been added since 2018.

  • Largest municipal alternative fuels fleet in Tennessee
  • Partner to TNCleanFuels helping showcase vehicles at events, participating in meetings and alternative fuels advocacy and conversion assistance
  • Over 200,000 gallons of gasoline displaced since 2013
  • Independently-operated propane filling infrastructure in Kingsport, TN
  • 96 total propane vehicles
  • Propane vehicles include police cars, service trucks, city sedans, and mowers

In 2016, the City of Kingsport’s Police Fleet was certified as a 1-Star Tennessee Green Fleet. When certified, they were achieving 33 tons of CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions reduction annually, and 14% of the vehicles in the fleet ran on propane autogas. Those numbers have climbed substantially since 2016, and we are grateful for their efforts and partnership in Tennessee.

Fleet Photos

Fleet Liaison

Steve Hightower
Steve HightowerFleet Maintenance Supervisor
From his roots as a mechanic to his past twenty years as a manager, Steve knows that change is a must. For Kingsport, Steve creates positive change that yields efficiencies, time and time again. Steve is the Fleet Maintenance Manager for the City of Kingsport. This department keeps fire trucks, police cruisers, snowplows and all of public works’ vehicles running smoothly. With 37 years on the job, Steve continues to find innovative ways to increase productivity in his department.

About the City of Kingsport

Since 2011, the City of Kingsport, TN has accumulated 96 light-duty propane vehicles to their existing fleet of over 700 vehicles. These alternative fuel vehicles include forklifts, police cruisers, work trucks, and mowers, all of which are primarily used in municipal applications.

Kingsport’s main motivation for beginning this project was cost savings. Fleet manager Steve Hightower was looking for a common sense technology that best suited the City’s functions. He recognized that propane autogas technology was sound, safe, and that it offered potential cost savings that would help Kingsport achieve an ROI. The program has been a success both in terms of cost savings and in terms of petroleum use reduction. In the latter case, the City has displaced over 200,000 gallons of gasoline since 2013.

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