How Much Can Be Saved by Converting My Fleet to Propane?

savings when converting to propane new york

Propane autogas has grown to be the third most widely used motor fuel, behind only gasoline and diesel. Today, there are hundreds of thousands of vehicles in the U.S. that have been manufactured or converted to use autogas. According to the Alternative Fuels Data Center, 60% of alternative-fuel vehicles nationwide run on propane, from buses and fleet trucks to forklifts, lawnmowers and farm tractors.

And thanks to a movement toward propane car conversion and the availability of conversion kits for cars, it’s no longer unusual to notice taxi fleets, law enforcement and other municipal entities embracing this environmentally friendly way to power their vehicles.

Besides this commitment to the environment, there is also peace of mind that comes with driving a propane-powered vehicle.

Propane tanks are 20 times more puncture resistant than gasoline tanks—that’s another reason even police departments use them. Propane engine fuel systems also have many passive safety devices

Propane vs. diesel: 3 ways to lower your costs and start saving

Here are three key ways you can start lowering your costs.

Fuel: Fluctuating fuel costs can be frustrating for your business, but when you rely on propane autogas, 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. The cost of wholesale propane falls between the cost of oil and natural gas—propane’s two fuel sources. Because of this, propane autogas consistently costs less than diesel fuel, even when prices fluctuate.

Fluids: New, lower emissions diesel technology presents extra costs because you will need diesel emissions fluid to purchase, store and change. On top of this, you will need more fuel by volume compared with autogas. Plus, in cold temperatures, diesel vehicles need anti-gel fluids to prevent fuel filters and fuel lines from clogging. If your fleet runs on propane autogas, you will benefit from reliable performance in any type of weather without the need and extra expense of additional fluids.

Filters: To meet emissions requirements, today’s diesel technology requires diesel particulate filters that must be cleaned. Excessive idling accelerates cleaning intervals. These extra maintenance expenses just add more to your total cost of ownership.

Another factor: less impact on the environment

Autogas-powered vehicles produce lower emissions, including 20% less carbon monoxide, 40% less nitrogen oxides and 10% less carbon dioxide. Using clean-burning autogas can boost your reputation as a business that cares about the environment.

Today’s consumers tend to be much more aware of environmental issues and concerned about how to be kinder to the planet we all share. Supporting cleaner energy via autogas isn’t just the right thing to do—it could draw in environmentally-conscious customers who appreciate your commitment to a cleaner planet.

Here’s 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, as gasoline and diesel would do.

Engine conversions, fueling stations and deliveries

Any vehicle or retrofit system that is approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and/or is CARB certified and is registered and operated and complies with all applicable regulatory standards in the state of New York is eligible for an alternative fuel tax credit, which extends the $.50 per gallon fuel credit for the use of propane autogas as a transportation fuel, and the refueling property credit, which extends the 30 percent/$30,000 investment tax credit for propane autogas vehicles.

New legislation extended both the Alternative Fuel Tax Credit and the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Tax Credit for three years – retroactively for 2018 and 2019 and prospectively for 2020. Please consult your tax professional for assistance.

If you’re interested in powering your fleet with propane, your local propane company can help.

Ask about converting your vehicles, setting up a propane fueling station at your property or arranging for on-site fueling on a regular schedule. Your propane company may even be able to help you qualify for alternative fuel tax credits to help you save even more!