While you probably are most familiar with it as a fuel for your gas barbecue grill and home appliances, propane powers hundreds of thousands of vehicles, with numbers increasing weekly. Many fleets are utilizing the power of propane power—from taxis and school buses to police cars, and it has been used worldwide for over 80 years.
Propane is also known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and is a by-product of natural gas and crude oil refining. With an infrastructure of pipelines plus processing storage facilities, propane is way ahead of the learning curve regarding efficient distribution—especially since it’s so easy to pull up at thousands of filling stations in United States.
Pros: A Yes Vote
- Vast infrastructure: Propane tops the list for alternative fuel station availability.
- Clean burning: Reduces ozone forming emissions.
- Cost savings: It's often less expensive than gasoline.
- Longer life: It extends vehicle service life and maintenance intervals.
Cons: What to be Aware of
- Fuel station availability: although filling stations are plentiful by alternative fuel standards, long distance travel still requires planning.
- Lower energy ratio as compared to gasoline.
- Propane is not renewable (it’s linked to petroleum reserves) and already in great demand.
Handling & Safety
Refueling requires adequate ventilation due to increased flammability of liquid propane gas. However, filling stations are designed with adequate ventilation in mind.
Good: Since propane’s infrastructure is already established, it can continue to help carry the load until other alternatives are more developed.Learn More: Propane 101
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