Article

Propane Autogas: Advantages Beyond Financial Incentives

May 2012, Green Fleet Magazine - Feature

by Steve Wayne

The advantages of alternatively fueled vehicles are appealing for many fleet operators today. Rising gasoline and diesel prices, along with directives to be more operationally and environmentally efficient, have prompted many fleet managers to take steps to incorporate these vehicles into existing fleets.

Vehicles fueled by propane autogas have equivalent horsepower, torque, and towing capacity as gasoline-fueled models, and emit 12-percent less carbon dioxide, about 20-percent less nitrogen oxide, and up to 60-percent less carbon monoxide than gasoline-fueled vehicles.
Vehicles fueled by propane autogas have equivalent horsepower, torque, and towing capacity as gasoline-fueled models, and emit 12-percent less carbon dioxide, about 20-percent less nitrogen oxide, and up to 60-percent less carbon monoxide than gasoline-fueled vehicles.

Federal and state incentives have allowed fleets to adopt alternatively fueled vehicles. President Barack Obama’s announcement of the National Clean Fleets Partnership in spring 2011, which encourages the use of clean, domestic energy, also encouraged this adoption. Because of these incentives, some fleet managers wonder if they will be able to afford these vehicles if, and when, the incentives expire.

The good news is that vehicles fueled by propane autogas offer advantages that allow these models to operate effectively with or without incentives.

Cost savings can come from multiple areas, including the fact that propane autogas burns cleaner than gasoline or diesel. Historical data also supports the typically lower cost of propane autogas compared to other conventional fuels.

The North American market for vehicles fueled by propane autogas is gaining momentum, as fleet managers realize it provides a cost-effective, and high-performing solution.

Considering All Factors
Some state and local government incentives support the adoption of vehicles fueled by propane autogas and create new opportunities in the market. In addition, the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) and the propane industry have taken steps to develop a strong market that provides cost savings in many other ways.

A local propane provider can help fleet managers assess the savings potential of vehicles fueled by propane autogas for a given fleet, based on its unique needs.

PERC has taken proactive steps to establish the propane autogas market for sustainable growth and provide a solution to fleet managers seeking alternative options. Those efforts have just begun. PERC is increasing the amount of training available for propane providers and fleet managers, and, through continued outreach, has a goal to introduce more fleets to these cost-effeictive, high-performing vehicles.

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