About Jon LeSage

Headshot for GAMJon LeSage serves as Editor and Publisher of Green Auto Market, which tracks the business of green cars, fuels, and technologies. LeSage also serves as Owner of LeSage Consulting which provides education services, content, and market research/intelligence services to stakeholders in alternative fuel vehicles and clean transportation. The Green Auto Market website and newsletter is connected with Automotive Digest, which is a comprehensive automotive information resource read by leaders in the industry since the 1990s.

Jon brings 22 years of experience in editorial and research to the field. He’s worked as a magazine editor and writer, online content webitor, and market researcher. Over the years, he’s spent time covering alternative fuel vehicles, fleet management, car rental, business travel, used car market trends, chauffeured ground transportation, internet marketing, laws and regulations, and auto manufacturing. Covering green machines now requires a wide range of news tracking, which makes it all the more fun – science and engineering, fuels and energy, fleet management, laws and regulations, sustainability initiatives, global trends, environmental activism, and what green car shoppers really want.

8 thoughts on “About Jon LeSage

  1. Jon LeSage,

    We are very excited to be moving back to Propane as fuel for our fleet. MY Canadian fleet used this fuel back in the 70’s & 80’s. My first conversion went 1,100,000+ kilometers. When I finally retired the unit, the engine had 105 compression all across; low but even. I put it in a friends old pickup and it was still running years later.

    Unfortunately R&D didn’t follow as quickly with injected technology. Coupled with the price point, which as demand had jumped considerably, put us back into gasoline.

    Natural Gas is a good alternative for larger units, we have two GM one ton vans that are factory installed bi-fuel, but availability, weight, and range are factors that does not make it viable for most midsize Taxicabs. I have been tempted to put a bumper sticker that says, “Sniff My Tailpipe” on our 15 passenger units, because they are so clean they are virtually odorless.

    It is my suggestion that Propane be better marketed. I believe that there is a larger market with the smaller units, the peasants if you will. They don’t use the same amount as larger unit fleets, but there are far more of them. The lions share is produced “here” in the U.S., along with the maintenance savings, current cost per gallon, and the environmental issues, make this the best, in my opinion, alternative option available.

    I have been proven wrong, by friends in my industry, with regard to electric vehicles. They have more longevity than I imagined and are getting 3-400K miles service. However, they are not the full size “Sherman Tank” that we require. I am also concerned that our electrical grid, would not be able to support the general public “if” the vehicle cost becomes more attractive.

    Having looked at the different options available, Imco, Icom, Roush, etc. I have decided to go with World CNG’s dedicated propane system.; “Unless” you have other suggestions for us. Converted,our Crown Victoria’s will be emission equivalent with the Toyota Prius!!

    What have you found to be the most advantageous, long term, solutions. How can we get the Green Machine, that being the government, auto manufacture’s and others as motivated about this product, as they have been Electrical and Natural Gas units??

  2. Scott,

    It sounds like you’ve had a lot of years of experience and miles driven with propane-powered vehicles. I do hear a lot of positive comments from fleet managers who’ve brought them into their fleets as conversions — utility trucks, school buses, and pickup trucks. They like the cost of the fuel — about $2 a gallon including taxes; the fact that there are a lot of fueling stations available — it’s number three after gasoline and diesel stations; and that it’s emissions are cleaner than gasoline and diesel. For some fleets it makes more sense than natural gas or other alternative fuel vehicles. They’re talking to Roush CleanTech and CleanFuel USA, and there are other companies offering conversions now. Alliance AutoGas is working with a lot of municipalities, fleets, and propane distributors to build fueling networks. I think it’s important that people with your experience network with each other and share stories. The public needs to be informed and know about their options.

    Jon LeSage

    • This sounds crazy, but here goes: Do you know if it is possible to convert my stock 1973 1600 VW Beetle to propane? And If so, who would I talk to?
      Thanks…I enjoy your work…..JIm

      • Hi Jim,

        People tend to look for EPA and CARB certified conversion companies to do the work. Locally, that would probably include Parnell USA, Roush CleanTech, and Icom North America. They may not be available to convert an old car outside of the newer truck power trains and fueling systems, but it’s probably a good start. They might know somebody.

        Thanks,
        Jon

      • ANY engine, gasoline or DIEsel, from ANY vehicle can run on CNG or LPG. To get the most benefits from a fuel system upgrade you want to have the work performed on as new of an engine, with the lowest amount of miles on it as possible. The carbon in gasoline and DIEsel is the grit that wears down your cylinder walls and lowers the compression of an engine. The higher the compression for CNG or LPG, the better. The lower the compression, the more power loss is experienced on a gaseous fuel that takes up more volume in the combustion chamber than a liquid fuel. So, the less miles on an engine before you install a fuel system upgrade, the more you will like it and the more benefits will be available to you such as extending oil change intervals and increasing the usable life of the engine. There are no CARB or EPA “certified” systems for your vehicle. An EPA “certified” system is not necessary though. Although CARB and EPA certificates of conformity do exist for individual engine family’s and test groups of vehicles, there is no such thing as a CARB or EPA certified shop, or company. This is a misrepresentation, often used by businesses to try and gain a perceived advantage in the consumers eye, while trying to discredit a competitor. If you look at the history of the epa and their undue regulation of cleaner, safer, local fuels that cost less money than toxic gasoline or DIEsel, it becomes quite apparent that the epa is in fact the biggest enemy of Driving Clean & Saving Green in the USA. Every other country in the World is putting more NGV’s on the road and infrastructure in place to fill them. Since the epa’s undue regulation makes certified systems cost more and the consumer gets less out of them because most of them are dedicated fuel systems that are not programmable to fine tune for each individual vehicle. You can get a better, more capable sytem that is adjustable, for less cost than asking for the epa’s blessing on system that can allow your engine to actually clean the air in any metropolitan area.

        Where do you live? Where do you travel in your vehicle. If you have RE+Fueling infrastructure near by then all you need is the vehicle and you can start keeping more money in your own pocket, supporting our local economy, while increasing our Nations security all while cleaning up the air that we all get to breath~

        Tai W. Robinson
        Intergalactic Hydrogen
        www.AmericanFuelVehicles.com
        801-201-7370

        Drive Clean = Save Green!

  3. I cohost a car show every saturday in Salt Lake City, UT. I would love it if you would want to call in as a guest sometime and talk about various green issues in the car industry. Please let me know if you would be interested.

  4. Jon,

    Great articles. Would love to be on your mailing list! Thank you!

    regards,

    Thomas

  5. Jon, The current press coverage of the urgency to get Alberta oil sands product to market makes me wonder if anyone has actually done a source to tank analysis of all the energy inputs and their carbon footprints. The recent “myth of the long tail pipe” analysis comparing the average carbon intensity of the grid in the US clearly showed that electric vehicles, even when charged on a grid with substantial coal and natural gas components was still greener than gasoline. Because of the higher energy inputs with oil sands derived fuels it would be interesting to have a good comparison across the various technologies such as SAGD etc. Has this ever been done to your knowledge.
    We currently have a ford focus electric which is mostly charged directly from a 5.5 kw grid connected PV system which still provides net exports to the grid on an annual basis with the most output during summer daytime periods of peak demand when the air conditioners are humming. The natural gas that is fracked out from below our home is shipped north for steaming tar out of the ground. Used with existing technology such as Honda’ elegant ecowill cc-generation system, we could charge the same car at a fuel cost (current prices) of less than 2 cents/km with the “waste” heat supplied for free for space and domestic water heating when the sun is not shinning. It’s hard to compete with that without massive subsidies for the oil sands.

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