Santa Ana may find itself at the center of this country's clean-burning alternative fuel future beginning next month, when IMPCO Technologies begins manufacturing "innovative alternative fuel solutions for the North American transportation market," according to a release from IMPCO's holding company, Fuel Systems Solutions, which is also based in the county seat.
In fact, the Feb. 6 launch of the FSS U.S. Automotive Alternative Fuel Division coincides with the 50th anniversary of IMPCO, which since 1958 has specialized in converting engines for heavy equipment to run on cleaner-burning propane or natural gas. Fuel Systems Solutions was formed last year when IMPCO merged with Cherasco, Italy-based BRC Gas Equipment, which specializes in engines for automobiles that run on alternative fuels.
"We will bring our technology to the U.S. at a time when our country is focused on decreasing its dependence on foreign oil and greenhouse gas emissions," says Mariano Costamagna, Fuel Systems Solutions' CEO. "Our bi-fuel vapor sequential fuel injection systems enable the use of two fuels in one vehicle, which extends the driving range of the alternative fuel vehicle while protecting against refueling infrastructure shortfalls as the nation invests in infrastructure to allow U.S. consumers greater access to natural gas and propane. In this way, we deliver an immediate solution to aid in reducing harmful pollution and greenhouse gas emissions."
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An alternative-fuel revolution could also kick new life into the country's faltering economy by providing new alt.-fuel jobs, businesses and automobiles, according to Tim Standke, IMPCO's director of automotive operations.