The transportation sector is the single largest contributor to America’s carbon emissions. It’s no surprise that businesses, non-profits, municipalities, activists and civic leaders are focused on how to move vehicles away from the two big traditional petroleum fuels: gasoline and diesel.
While you’ve likely heard a lot about electric vehicles (EVs), there’s another tool for decarbonizing vehicles of all sizes: propane autogas.
The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) says there are more than 60,000 propane autogas commercial vehicles on U.S. roads right now. These fleets enjoy cleaner operation, lower maintenance costs and affordable, American-made fuel. Propane autogas powers light-duty and medium-duty trucks, school buses, taxis, shuttles and more. There are autogas refill stations in every state.
Here are some advantages of choosing propane autogas for your northern Arizona business.
An autogas fleet conversion yields some significant cost benefits for businesses and municipalities. Alliance AutoGas notes that propane is consistently 30-50% less expensive than gasoline or diesel because it’s an overwhelmingly U.S.-made fuel. Even accounting for a slightly lower fuel economy for propane, you can still expect to see lower fuel expenses.
Autogas engines tend to be longer-lasting and less expensive to maintain than diesel and gasoline engines.
Propane engines need less oil by volume than diesel engines and also don’t require the same costly diesel emissions fluids (DEF) and diesel particulate filters (DPF) to run clean. DPFs require professional cleaning every 200,000 miles, potentially costing tens of thousands of dollars for a cleaning machine or mechanic fees.
Gasoline vehicles can experience fuel degradation and accelerated wear of engine components, which isn’t a significant issue with autogas engines.
One major obstacle to converting a vehicle fleet to electricity is the expense of recharging stations. The estimated cost to set up infrastructure for 10 electric vehicles with five level 3 fast EV chargers can reach $480,000. By contrast, the estimated cost to install infrastructure for 10 propane autogas vehicles with a single 1,000- to 2,000-gallon tank is around $60,000. Meanwhile, a Class 4-7 EV can cost up to four times more than a comparable propane autogas vehicle.
Propane vehicles also outpace EVs for range. Class 4-7 propane autogas vehicles achieve distances of around 350 miles. Electric trucks can only travel approximately 120 miles on a charge.
Let’s take a moment to compare propane autogas emissions and other popular transportation fuels.
The Argonne National Laboratory’s Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Transportation (GREET) model has demonstrated that powering a vehicle with propane can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 13% compared with gasoline and diesel, and autogas sourced as a co-product of natural gas production (as over two-thirds of U.S. propane is) can reduce petroleum use by 99%. There are also significant reductions in nitrogen oxide and sulfur oxide emissions.
It’s also worth noting that PERC has found that propane’s carbon intensity is over 40% lower than Arizona’s grid electricity, which relies heavily on coal and natural gas for generation.
Fleet operators can also save money with the Alternative Fuel Tax Credit. This part of the federal Inflation Reduction Act may allow you to claim a credit for every gasoline gallon equivalent of propane autogas purchased. This credit is available through December 31, 2024, and extends back to January 1, 2022.
Fleet managers and businesses in Flagstaff, Jerome, Sedona, Prescott, Bullhead City and other communities we serve have said goodbye to lining up at service station pumps and reconciling driver receipts. Superior Propane sets up safe and intuitive autogas pumps for businesses so employees can refill their tanks on-site. Our dependable propane delivery team will ensure you never run out of autogas.
Take a moment to see how an autogas fleet can shrink your carbon footprint and lower your costs. Contact our team today.