Autogas is the common name for using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as fuel for on-road vehicles. A mixture of propane and butane, autogas is the third most popular automotive fuel in the world – powering approximately 16 million vehicles worldwide. In the United States, autogas powers school buses, shuttle buses, trucks, vans, and taxis in nearly every state. Using autogas to power your fleet allows you to access a clean-burning, safe, reliable, fuel source that is both domestically produced and less expensive than gasoline or diesel.
There are two different ways to power a vehicle with autogas — a dedicated system or a dual-fuel system. Dedicated vehicles are converted from using gasoline or can be delivered directly from various vehicle manufacturers. Dual-fuel vehicles enjoy the best of both worlds as they can run on either autogas or gasoline at the flip of a switch.
While modifying a vehicle to run on autogas or purchasing an autogas vehicle directly is not inexpensive ( the typical cost of a new autogas vehicle is $10,000 more than a gasoline powered vehicle), the costs are usually recouped in fuel and maintenance savings within the first 9-12 months. After that, the savings continue over the lifetime of the vehicle – at a rate of approximately $15,000/year per vehicle.
Autogas offers more energy per unit mass and has a higher octane rating than gasoline. Autogas does have a slightly lower fuel economy and a result, it takes more fuel to create the same amount of power. That being said, the average price of autogas has ranged from $0.80 to approximately $1.61 cheaper per equivalent gallon for gasoline so while it may not burn as hot, autogas doesn’t burn through your wallet as quickly either!
Autogas also weighs less than gasoline – approximately 1.86 pounds less per gallon – which means your transportation is more efficient and effective.
Autogas provides similar range, horsepower, torque, and towing capacity to gasoline-powered vehicles. Autogas performs effectively in temperature ranges from -40 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit — making it the most versatile fuel choice in nearly every climate (and certainly in Southern Maryland).