A “green” refueling stop

Urban Tulsa published a long, wide-ranging article about Michael Wallis, Tulsa and the Route 66 Alliance, and two guys who want to drive Route 66 this summer in a 1966 GTO that’s been converted to run on compressed natural gas.

But the most newsworthy part of the article is Albert “Albee” Thomas’ plans for building alternative-fuels refilling stations along Route 66:

In addition to offering alternative fuel pumps, each Green Choice 66 station eventually will feature a restaurant and an interactive Route 66 exhibit featuring vintage cars and electronic media. That’s where the “linear experience” part of the name comes in — each station will present a different part of the Route 66 story, with the idea that motorists will be led to visit each one along their trip. That way, each station becomes a destination.

Each station would range in size from 4,500 to 6,900 square feet and offer three to nine alternative fuel pumps. The buildings would be designed employing sustainable techniques, with electricity for the fuel pumps, recharge stations and the building itself coming from the sun’s energy, produced by photovoltaic panels on the roof and adjacent PV power farm.

Beyond that, Thomas said, he hopes to create the Route 66 Institute, a clearinghouse of information about the roadway and alternative fuels that will begin as a Web site before evolving into an actual building. The institute is designed to promote the creation of an alternative fuels network across the country.

According to Thomas’ new plan, Americana Fuel Centers is aiming for an August 2011 launch date.

Thomas is lining up investors for the plan. The Route 66 Alliance is no longer involved with Thomas’ proposal, but give him its blessing.

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