ELLSWORTH, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- Gas prices continue to keep the public's attention, but R.H. Foster in Ellsworth wants to offer residents an alternative form of energy. Monday the company unveiled its propane autogas retail pump, the first of its kind in Maine.

Executive Vice President Robert Tracy with R.H. Foster said, "What we have here is a public access, full use for anybody that's interested in auto gas fueling."

Regular, unleaded gasoline averages around $3.58 a gallon compared to propane topping out at $2.14.

CEO Roy Willis with the Propane Education Council said, "It's a positive step forward for the community and the country. Propane is growing in supply here in the United States. It is affordable. It is clean and it has multiple applications."

Supporters agreed, however, this is only the first step and it will be important to spread the word on the benefits of propane autogas.

V.P. of Sales and Marketing, Todd Mouw, with Roush Cleantech said, "It's a big job we got to do on education. People are concerned with safety, availability...if we convert a million vehicles will the price go up, so we spend a lot of our time just getting people comfortable with that change.A lot of times the misconceptions that they have are easily corrected just by giving them the facts."

The next step is opening more retail pump stations like the one in Ellsworth.

"Available infrastructure.A place to refuel is critical for alternative fuels and it's just getting started here in Maine," said Willis.

R.H. Foster plans to open two more propane pumping stations, in Bangor and Machias, by the end of the summer.

Those interested in switching to propane autogas there are conversion kits available. The kits average around $1,200.

The Ellsworth location is located at 372 High Street.

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