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​​A Fuel for Our Future

When it comes to transporting our children, reliability, safety, and cleanliness are top priority. A decade ago, a study found that the air inside school buses was significantly dirtier than the air outside, partly as a result of diesel fumes, highlighting the need for a cleaner fuel source. Clean-burning propane not only meets the requirements of a clean and green alternative fuel, it goes beyond expectations by also providing significant cost savings and extending engine life.

Fuel Smart: Benefits of propane autogas

School buses fueled by propane autogas offer the following benefits:​​

  • 20% less nitrogen oxide, 60% less carbon monoxide, 12% less carbon dioxide, and up to 25% fewer greenhouse gas emissions
  • Same horsepower, torque, and towing capacity as traditional fuels
  • Compliance with EPA and California Air Resources Board certification requirements
  • Tax credits and rebates for alternative fuel vehicles (For information on federal and state laws and incentives, go to the Propane Laws and Incentives section of the Alternative Fuels Data Center website.)
  • Increased maintenance intervals and reduced maintenance costs
  • Reduced fuel costs by 50% compared with diesel fuel, saving $3,000 to $3,500 on fuel per bus each year
  • Decreased noise level by 50% compared with diesel-powered buses
  • Improved safety: propane autogas has the lowest flammability range of all alternative motor fuels, and the tanks are 20 times more puncture-resistant than typical gasoline and diesel tanks
  • Reduced infrastructure costs: can install 10 propane autogas fueling stations for the cost of one compressed natural gas station
  • Easy starting in cold weather, taking less time to warm up and requiring no additives or treatments to prevent gelling in the winter, providing additional cost savings over diesel
  • Avoidance of the fluctuations in fuel prices associated with diesel and gasoline, improving the ability to budget

Proven performance

In 2013, school districts across the nation added propane-powered school buses to their fleets, including:

  • Omaha and Millard, Nebraska: 434 new propane school buses
  • Shelton, Connecticut: 60 new propane school buses
  • Crittenden County, Kentucky: Debuting the state’s first propane school bus as a pilot program
  • Glendale, Arizona: 13 new propane buses
  • Fort Zumwalt, Missouri: Adding 22 propane buses to the eight it introduced to its fleet in 2012 (18% of the total fleet): Jeff Orr, chief financial officer, said, “Our experience has been very positive so far, as propane autogas is averaging $2.15 per gallon less than diesel fuel this fiscal year. . . . The district is saving around 18.9 cents per mile due to lower fuel costs and anticipates these eight propane-powered buses will save approximately $18,000 this school year.”
  • Mesa, Arizona: Bringing in 61 new propane buses for a total of 89, which is slightly more than 16% of its fleet: Ron Latko, director of transportation and fleet management, says the district pays $3.54 for a gallon of diesel compared with $1.12½ for a gallon of propane. "And I get a 50-cent-a-gallon excise tax rebate, so my price is 62½ cents a gallon," he adds. He estimates that over the 18-year, 277,000-mile life of a bus, propane costs $98,527 less than diesel. With a 37.7-cents-per-mile savings in operating costs, he expects to save $4.43 million over a five-year period. “These propane autogas buses have surpassed our expectations in how smooth and effortless they run and how easy they are to service,” Latko says. “The quality and reliability have been outstanding. We plan to keep coming back for more until we are 100% propane powered.” He also appreciates the positive impact on the environment, stating that "this year alone, we're going to cut our greenhouse gas emissions by 2,789 tons."
  • Bozeman, Montana: 50 new propane buses: Mike Waterman, business services director for Bozeman schools, calls it “the best of both worlds,” estimating that new propane-powered buses will reduce the burden on taxpayers by about $120,000 a year compared with diesel buses. In addition, Waterman says that they are quieter, asserting they “almost sound like a car,” and are “less stinky than big diesel buses.”

For more information, download this brochure:FS Propane School Bus Brochure.pdfFS Propane School Bus Brochure.pdf

Call us today and let us help you Fuel Smart.​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​