Q:“How cost-effective would it be to switch to propane as my fuel source?”
A: Propane operating costs for fleet vehicles range from 5 percent to 30 percent less than conventional or reformulated gasoline. Overall, propane is the least expensive alternative to gasoline.
Q:“How does propane affect engine performance?”
A: Fleet operators report horsepower and torque capability roughly comparable to gasoline. Because propane is a less dense fuel than gasoline, power might decrease slightly, but operators rarely notice this loss. Fuel economy on new engines is also comparable to that of gasoline.
Q:“Is propane really a safer fuel for the environment?
A: Tests conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency show that and about 50 percent fewer toxics and other smog-producing emissions. Propane is also listed as an approved alternative fuel in the 1990 Clean Air Act and the Energy Policy Act of 1992.
Q:“Is refueling difficult with propane?”
A: No. Refueling is simple and quick. Propane’s pumping rate, 10 to 12 gallons per minute, is comparable to that of gasoline. This translates into savings in time and money compared with other alternative fuels. Because propane is delivered through a sealed system (thereby protecting the environment), a simple screwed connection is used. Vehicles can be refueled at nearly 10,000 sites across the country.
Q:“Is propane safe?”
A: Yes. Propane vehicle tanks are tested to four times the normal operating pressures, and the tanks are 20 times as puncture resistant as gasoline tanks. Propane is nontoxic, nonpoisonous, and has the lowest flammability range of any alternative fuel.
Q:“How can I make the switch to propane as an alternative fuel?”
A: Qualified conversion contractors can convert almost any gasoline-powered vehicle to propane. Conversions cost between $2,500 and $3,500 – a cost that would quickly be recovered through lower maintenance and fuel costs associated with using propane. Part of these conversion costs may be deducted from federal taxable income. Also, more automakers are responding to increased demand for alternative-fueled vehicles by manufacturing factory-equipped propane-powered vehicles. For more information on conversions, go to the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Alternative Fuel Data Center Web site.
Q:“Is propane widely used?”
A: Yes. Propane has been used as a commercial motor fuel for more than 80 years, and more than 190,000 propane-powered vehicles are in use today in the United States-more than 9 million are in use worldwide. Propane has become the leading alternative fuel in the United States and in the world.
Q:“How many vehicles are powered by propane in the U.S.?”
A: According to the Energy Information Administration, there are these many LPG powered vehicles roaming U.S. highways:
- 2004 194,389 (projected)
- 2003 190,438
- 2002 187,680
- 2001 185,053
- 2000 181,994
- 1999 178,610
- 1998 177,183
- 1997 175,679
- 1996 175,585
- 1995 172,806