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Autogas: Smart Fuel for Fleets of All Sizes

Many businesses using fleets of vehicles or even just one or two light-duty trucks are turning to propane autogas as their fuel source. According to the Propane Education and Research Council, there are more than 270,000 on-road propane vehicles in the US. That’s because this clean alternative fuel has a proven track record of offering significant advantages over both traditional and other alternative fuels. These advantages come in the form of economy, performance and convenience, safety, and a positive impact on the environment and US economy.

Saving money for your business

The expense of purchasing a propane vehicle or converting a vehicle to use propane autogas is quickly offset by the lower operating and maintenance costs over the life of the vehicle. Propane vehicles save businesses money because:

  • On average, a gallon of propane autogas costs 40% less than a gallon of gasoline.
  • Propane's high-octane and clean-burning characteristics result in engine life of up to two times that of gasoline engines as well as extended intervals between required maintenance.
  • Propane autogas qualifies as an alternative fuel eligible for various federal tax incentives and programs.
  • Compared with natural gas conversion, it costs 50% less to convert a vehicle to run on propane.
  • The cost of implementing a propane refueling station is generally 10% of the cost of a comparable natural gas station.

Providing performance and convenience

  • A propane vehicle's acceleration, cruising speed, torque, towing capacity, and driving range are similar to those of gasoline-powered vehicles.
  • Propane has a higher octane rating than gasoline (104 to 112 compared with 87 to 92 for gasoline).
  • Propane has more potential horsepower than gasoline.
  • Because the fuel's mixture of propane and air is gaseous rather than liquid, problems associated with starting in cold weather are reduced.
  • Propane has the longest driving range of any alternative fuel option, more than 250% farther than natural gas, about 60% farther than methanol, and 25% farther than ethanol.
  • Propane storage tanks are four times smaller than natural gas tanks for comparable amounts of fuel.
  • Propane autogas has the most developed refueling infrastructure of all alternative fuels in the US; the number of propane autogas refueling stations is more than 2,600 and is rapidly increasing.

 Ensuring the safety of your employees

  • Propane has a narrower flammability range than compressed natural gas.
  • Propane vehicle tanks have a working pressure of 312 psi, compared with 3,600 psi for natural gas tanks.
  • Propane vehicle tanks are 20 times more puncture resistant than gasoline or diesel tanks and are tested at up to four times their normal operating pressure.
  • Because it is released from a pressured container as a vapor, propane autogas can’t be ingested like gasoline or alcohol fuels.
  • Propane autogas engine fuel systems are fitted with safety devices and shut-off valves that function automatically if the fuel line ruptures.
  • Propane-powered vehicles and their fueling systems are designed to perform safely during both normal operation and crash situations.

Supporting environmental responsibility and the US economy

  • Propane is non-toxic and presents no threat to soil, surface water, or groundwater. In contrast, as little as one gallon of spilled gasoline can quickly contaminate groundwater above drinking water health advisory levels.
  • Compared with gasoline and diesel, propane autogas produces up to 25% fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Tank by tank, propane autogas has a lower carbon content than gasoline, diesel, heavy fuel oil, or even biodiesel and ethanol.
  • Unlike natural gas, propane is not a greenhouse gas and therefore does not contribute to planetary warming trends when released directly into the atmosphere.
  • Propane produces 70% fewer smog-producing hydrocarbons, up to 60% less carbon monoxide, 20% less nitrogen oxide, and 12% less carbon dioxide than gasoline.
  • Propane autogas cuts emissions of toxins and carcinogens, like benzene and toluene, by up to 96% when compared with gasoline.
  • Propane autogas tanks are environmentally friendly and can last up to 40 years if properly maintained.
  • The abundant domestic supply of propane autogas reduces US reliance on imported fuels, ​increases energy security, and creates American jobs.

Sources:
http://www.afdc.energy.gov/vehicles/propane_availability.html
http://www.afdc.energy.gov/vehicles/propane_conversions.html
http://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/propane_basics.html
http://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/propane_benefits.html
http://www.afdc.energy.gov/vehicles/propane.html
http://www.cleanfuelusa.com/vehicles.php#why
http://www.autogasusa.org/propane-vehicles-and-equipment/light-duty-vehicles/
http://www.roushcleantech.com/content/autogas
http://www.roushcleantech.com/content/operation-performance
http://www.roushcleantech.com/content/emissions
http://www.roushcleantech.com/content/safety

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