Frequently Asked Questions:

Propane Autogas

What is propane autogas?

Propane is a by-product of natural gas and petroleum, occurring naturally during domestic oil refining and natural gas processing. It is 270 times more compact as a liquid than as a gas, making it highly economical to store and transport. Propane is also known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG or LP gas). When used as an on-road engine fuel, it is called propane autogas.

The following articles give more information about propane:

Is propane domestically produced?

Yes. More than 90 percent of domestic supplies of propane are from natural gas processing and petroleum refining here in the U.S. An additional seven percent are Canadian imports, and less than three percent are from other countries.

How big is the market for vehicles fueled by propane autogas?

Globally there are more than 17 million vehicles in service using propane autogas as a fuel source. In the U.S., propane autogas vehicles number 270,000, making it the third most common engine fuel behind gasoline and diesel. The proven use of propane autogas and the domestic availability of propane autogas fueling stations make propane autogas a smart primary fuel option that’s available today.

Will I have to sacrifice vehicle performance if I switch to propane autogas?

No. Propane autogas provides similar range, horsepower, torque, and towing capacity to gasoline-powered vehicles. It contains a higher octane rating (105 octane) than gasoline, which helps guarantee a similar performance feel. Additionally, ROUSH CleanTech propane autogas technology has been tested to perform in environmental conditions ranging from -40 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit — making propane autogas more versatile than other alternative fuel options in most climates.

Is propane autogas readily available?

Unlike some other alternative fuels, propane autogas is available “right here, right now,” with many vehicle options available from well-established manufacturers. With more propane autogas refueling stations than any other alternative fuel, and the only alternative fuel with stations located in every state, access to the fuel is convenient and easy.

Is propane autogas cost effective?

Propane autogas is historically 30 to 40 percent less expensive per gallon than gasoline. And burning a cleaner fuel through your engine means lower maintenance costs. In addition, alternative fuel tax credits and incentives are available  — all proving this green fuel makes perfect financial sense. Visit the Savings Calculator for a detailed breakdown of estimated savings.

Is propane autogas environmentally friendly?

By using propane autogas, a vehicle’s environmental impact is significantly reduced, with 60 percent less carbon monoxide, 20 percent less nitrogen, and up to 24 percent less greenhouse gas emissions. Compared to gasoline or diesel, choosing propane autogas lessens your carbon footprint. Any fleet manager looking toward corporate stewardship will find propane autogas a sustainable choice.

Is propane autogas reliable and safe?

Propane autogas is considered as safe as any conventional automotive fuel and has been used in motor vehicles for almost 100 years. Propane autogas is a nontoxic, non-carcinogenic, and noncorrosive fuel. It poses no hazard to groundwater, surface water, or soil. Because it is released as a gas, propane does not spill, pool, or leave residue. Propane autogas vehicles are tested extensively to perform safely in both normal driving and crash situations, with specially designed pressure release devices installed in every tank to allow the safe release of pressure should it rise above safe levels. In addition, the tanks used to hold propane are 20 times more puncture resistant than gasoline tanks.

Is there a weight difference between gasoline and propane autogas?

Yes, propane autogas weighs approximately 1.86 pounds less per gallon than gasoline.

One gallon of gasoline = 6.1 pounds

One gallon of propane autogas = 4.24 pounds

Does the propane system affect fuel economy?

Yes. Fuel economy degrades by about 15 to 25 percent, depending on vehicle usage habits, due to the presence of fewer British thermal units (Btu) – a standard measurement of power – present in a gallon of propane compared to a gallon of gasoline.

Does propane autogas pollute less than gasoline or diesel?

Yes. Propane autogas, an approved alternative fuel listed in both the Clean Air Act of 1990 and the National Energy Policy Act of 1992 and 2005, produces significantly lower amounts of:

  • Particulates
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Nitrogen oxide
  • Hydrocarbon
  • Greenhouse gas emissions
  • Other emissions

Propane autogas cuts emissions of toxins and carcinogens, such as benzene and toluene, by up to 96 percent as compared to gasoline.

Per pound of fuel consumed, propane autogas emits less than half as much carbon dioxide as coal and almost no sulfur dioxide.

Where are fueling stations located?

With more than 2,500 fueling stations found across the United States, propane autogas is easily accessible. To find a location, visit the Department of Energy website http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/locator/stations/.

What if a there are no convenient fueling stations in my area?

On-site fueling installations are available at little to no cost. Or, depending on your available space and fuel needs, underground tanks or above ground, portable, skid-mounted tanks can be used. Another option includes buying propane direct from a local supplier for regular delivery. Contact ROUSH CleanTech for suggested propane supplier partners in your area.