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How Propane Can Transform Your Commercial Fleet

Posted: September 13, 2018

Commerical Fleet

Whether you have just a couple of tractors or a huge fleet of delivery trucks, buses, shuttles, or any other commercial vehicle, you know how quickly things can start to add up. Fuel costs. Maintenance. Licensing.

It’s a big responsibility. And it can get expensive.

Well, what if we told you that you could transform your fleet into a cheaper, greener, more reliable set of automobiles—using the same cars and trucks you already own? In a way that saved the environment and saved you money?

It isn’t a fantasy. It’s propane autogas.

The idea of using propane for motor fuel might sound unusual to some, but it’s actually a lot more common than you might realize—and it’s been around for almost 100 years. First used in cars during the 1920s, autogas is now the world’s third most widely used motor fuel, and powers more than 10,000 vehicles in Michigan alone.

But let’s get specific here. Why should you switch?

Save on Fuel Costs

Anybody who has ever driven a car has felt the headaches at the pump from time to time—that sinking feeling when your tank is almost dry and the price per gallon just went up 40 cents that morning.

Fluctuating fuel costs are a fact of life, but when you rely on propane you can generally enjoy an average savings of 30 to 40 percent per mile driven, considering both the cost of the fuel itself and expected fuel economy. (Autogas gets slightly fewer miles per gallon than gasoline, but the drastically lower cost of the fuel itself more than makes up the difference.)

Protect the Environment

Autogas burns much cleaner than gasoline or diesel, and that’s good news for the environment. It also, quite frequently, makes good business sense too. Today’s consumers tend to be much more aware of environmental issues and concerned about the health of the planet. So supporting cleaner energy isn’t just the right thing to do—it also makes you more attractive as a business partner!

Compared to gasoline, autogas produces:

  • 10 percent less carbon dioxide (CO2)
  • 20 percent less carbon monoxide emissions (CO)
  • 40 percent less nitrogen oxide (NOx)
  • Hardly any harmful particulate matter (PM)

Another eco-friendly benefit? Any potential leakage will vaporize and dissipate. This means it won’t sink into the ground and contaminate soil or ground water.

Protect the Environment

Get Smoother Performance

There’s a persistent (and untrue) rumor out there that autogas vehicles underperform gasoline and diesel. While it is true that autogas has lower “power per unit” than gasoline, it is also much more efficient. As a result, there is no noticeable loss of power or performance—propane-powered vehicles can handle all of the same heavy-duty work tasks that a gas or diesel engine can.

They also do it much more smoothly, too. Gasoline at the pump generally comes in octane ratings of 87 to 93. Autogas, by contrast, tends to boast an octane rating of 104 to as much as 110. What this means is that autogas-powered engines experience much less knock and are significantly quieter and provide smoother acceleration—particularly at low speeds in start-and-stop traffic.

Extend Your Engine’s Lifespan and Reduce Maintenance Costs

Of course, that increased efficiency doesn’t just manifest itself as quieter and smoother engine operation. Because autogas burns so cleanly (and also gets injected into combustion chambers as a vapor rather than a liquid), it also reduces wear and tear on your engine’s components.

This can reduce maintenance costs, increase the time between services, and increase the total lifespan of your engine by as much as 50 percent.

Fuel Anywhere, Go Farther

Michigan is well equipped with more than 500 autogas fueling stations, high supply, and a solid delivery infrastructure. So you really shouldn’t have too many problems getting autogas when you need it.

That being said, one important thing to note is that “converting” your vehicle to run on autogas is a bit of a misnomer. You’re really adding an autogas tank and system. Your old gas tank will still be there, and it will still work properly. All you have to do is flip a switch.

In other words, in a pinch you can still switch back to the old tank and fill up at any regular gas station if you need to. This helps you prevent “out of gas” emergencies and allows you to go longer on a single journey without stopping.

Get Smoother Performance

Support Energy Independence

Almost all of the propane and autogas used in the United States is produced domestically, rather than imported from elsewhere. By supporting autogas, you are supporting American workers, American industry, American energy independence, and national security.

Don’t Make Compromises

Here are a few other fast facts for you:

  • Autogas is safe. Tanks are highly puncture-resistant—20 times more than gasoline fuel tanks, in fact. It also has a narrower flammability range and incorporates many passive safety devices that automatically prevent leakage.
  • Autogas is convenient. Filling the tank is quick and simple—no more difficult than any other fuel system.
  • Autogas conversions are affordable. Depending on the type of vehicle, conversion costs can run up to 5 or 6 thousand dollars. Considering the heavy usage of a typical commercial fleet vehicle, that initial cost can be recouped in fuel cost savings very quickly. Even better, you may qualify for a rebate of up to $4,000 from the MPGA. At that point it’s pretty much a no-brainer.

So, are you ready to transform your commercial fleet?

To get started, check out our handy resource page for more information on autogas. You’ll find not only testimonials and helpful videos, but also links to several companies that can perform the conversion and installation for you. Awesome!