Propane autogas describes propane when it is used as fuel for vehicles. Propane autogas is the world’s most popular alternative fuel, which is defined as any product that bypasses the two big traditional petroleum fuels: gasoline and diesel
In fact, it’s estimated that in 2022, there are more than 27 million vehicles in the world that rely on propane autogas. This includes school buses, taxis, shuttles, delivery and construction trucks and more. There are also thousands of propane autogas fueling stations in the U.S., with stations in every state. Read more facts about propane autogas.
According to the Alternative Fuels Data Center, 60% of alternative-fuel vehicles nationwide are powered by propane. Overall, propane autogas is the third most popular vehicle fuel, next to gasoline and diesel.
Its popularity has led to an array of innovations in vehicles that use propane autogas, including light- and medium-duty trucks, vans and shuttles.
Additionally, there are many propane-powered buses in the country transporting nearly one million children to school each day, and that number keeps increasing.
Buses fueled with propane autogas are crash-tested for impact in the side and rear, meeting rigorous motor vehicle safety standards.
Kids are benefiting from a healthier ride to and from school as well because propane school buses get an A+ as far as meeting emissions standards is concerned. Studies have shown that, when compared with the old diesel buses they have replaced, buses fueled by propane autogas:
Here are three key areas where propane-fueled vehicles have an edge over those that rely on diesel or gasoline.
Fuel: You can generally count on an average savings of 30 to 40 % per mile driven with propane autogas, considering both the cost of the fuel itself and the expected fuel economy. Historically, propane has been 30% less than gasoline, and the savings are even greater with diesel, especially in the wake of the alarming price increases we’ve seen this year.
Fluids: New, lower emissions diesel technology presents extra costs because diesel emissions fluid needs to be purchased, stored, and changed. Plus, in cold temperatures, diesel vehicles need anti-gel fluids to prevent fuel filters and fuel lines from clogging. If your fleet runs on propane autogas, however, you will benefit from reliable performance in any type of weather without the need and extra expense of additional fluids.
Filters: To meet emissions requirements, today’s diesel technology requires diesel particulate filters that must be cleaned. Excessive idling accelerates cleaning intervals. These extra maintenance expenses just add more to the total cost of ownership.
There has been much talk about achieving net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2050, and transitioning to all-electric vehicles has been a big part of the conversation because electricity is considered a “clean fuel” by many.
Although a battery-powered electric car itself doesn’t produce any emissions, the power plant that generates the electricity used to charge those batteries probably does. And those power plants are among the largest sources of greenhouse gas pollution in the United States.
Other obstacles slowing the move toward electric vehicles include low supply, charging infrastructure challenges, expensive upfront costs and limited mileage range.
For fleet owners who want the cost benefits of propane autogas but need the flexibility of a gasoline backup or who aren’t ready to purchase new vehicles, EPA-certified bi-fuel conversion kits can be installed on existing vehicles.
You can count on propane refueling technology to deliver as dependably as the vehicles themselves. Refueling with propane autogas is quick, quiet, and safe. It’s the same experience as refueling with diesel or gasoline, making the transition to propane autogas easy for fleets.
Propane autogas fleet operators can also save money by taking advantage of the Alternative Fuel Tax Credit, which was recently passed by the U.S. Congress as part of the Inflation Reduction Act. Read more about how you can qualify to claim a credit for every gasoline gallon equivalent of propane autogas purchased.
Besides propane autogas, there are many other commercial/agricultural uses for propane.