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Miscellaneous

Frequently Asked Questions

Pricing FAQs

What is the price of the conversion?

As with traditional fuel vehicles, price varies by model and equipment. The GM 6.0L and the ROUSH pickups and vans cost about $10,000 to convert. Bi-fuel aftermarket systems are in the range of $5,000 to $6,500 to install. Blue Bird buses cost about $13,000 more than the base diesel model.

Keep in mind that autogas will more than pay for itself over the expected life of the vehicle through lower fuel costs and a much lower cost of ownership than traditional fuel vehicles.

How much can I save by transitioning to autogas?

Autogas is the only alternative fuel for which there is a legitimate business case. In addition to its federally recognized status as a clean fuel, the vehicle conversions cost less than any other fuel. Propane has an existing fueling infrastructure and new infrastructure is inexpensive. Fleets can expect to pay in the range of $0.40 to $0.60 less than retail gasoline, and the operating cost per mile is calculated by some fleets at five times less for autogas than gasoline. Compared to gasoline, it is the only fuel that saves money for fleets even in the absence of government incentives.

What is the price of autogas?

Autogas fleets can expect to pay in the range of $0.40 to $0.60 less than retail gasoline. You should always follow manufacturer’s recommendation on preventative maintenance, but many propane fleets find they can extend the time between oil changes, thereby further reducing cost. The Texas Department of Transportation calculates their propane fleet cost per mile at .03 cpm and their gasoline fleet at .15 cpm.

What factors affect the price of autogas?

Like other fuel products the price of autogas (propane) fluctuates daily. Generally, as gasoline and diesel prices rise and fall, so does autogas, but autogas traditionally trades at a much lower cost basis than those other fuels. For example, when wholesale gasoline was over $4.00 per gallon, wholesale propane was $1.61 less per gallon. Also, the demand cycle for autogas is opposite of gasoline and diesel. Much of the propane in the U.S. is used during the winter home heating season. This is opposite of the high demand during the summer driving season and it helps reduce massive fluctuations in pricing.

What is the fuel economy on autogas-powered vehicles?

Much the same as with traditional fuel vehicles, fuel efficiency in autogas-powered vehicles varies from model to model, and application to application. As a general statement, dedicated liquid propane injection (LPI) vehicles have about 90% of the fuel efficiency of gasoline models due to the fact that propane has 10% less BTUs than a gallon of gasoline. This compares favorably to other alternative fuels like CNG, which can lower fuel efficiency by almost 70%.

And keep in mind that because the cost of fuel and the operating cost per mile are lower than with gasoline, fleets can often realize significant savings by transitioning to autogas.

Can the autogas fuel dispensers tie into existing fleet/fuel management software?

Yes.

Can I use a fleet card for fueling?

Yes.

How much do autogas fueling stations cost?

FerrellAutogas sells and leases fuel dispensing equipment, with many customers paying an annual lease of only $1.00. On a lease, Ferrellgas assumes responsibility for maintaining all leased equipment. If a customer purchases dispensing equipment, FerrellAutogas will maintain the equipment at the normal hourly labor rate plus the cost of parts.

What tax credits are in place to purchase autogas-powered vehicles and install fueling infrastructure?

There is a complete listing of applicable tax credits available.

How do I apply for these credits?

Your FerrellAutogas Consultant can help you with this question. The IRS website www.irs.gov has additional information.

Can I purchase or lease autogas dispensing equipment?

FerrellAutogas sells and leases fuel dispensing equipment, with many customers paying an annual lease of only $1.00. On a lease, Ferrellgas assumes responsibility for maintaining all leased equipment. If a customer purchases dispensing equipment, FerrellAutogas will maintain the equipment at the normal hourly labor rate plus the cost of parts.

Vehicle FAQs

Do autogas-powered vehicles require a special type of propane?

No, autogas-powered vehicles use the same propane that is used in thousands of applications all across America – from home heating to mosquito control.

Is there a loss of performance on autogas-powered vehicles?

On the ROUSH and GM-dedicated vehicles there is no loss in horsepower or torque. These vehicles are engineered to perform the same as gasoline-powered vehicles. Users of aftermarket bi-fuel systems also report that their performance is equal to gasoline models.

How are autogas-powered vehicles different today as opposed to the 1970s and 1980s?

As with most technologies, there have been significant improvements in autogas-powered vehicles. The biggest difference is that today’s dedicated systems utilize the direct fuel injection of liquid propane instead of the old carburetor-based systems, eliminating the problems the older-generation of vehicles faced.

Why don’t more vehicles run on autogas?

Actually, more than 14 million vehicles worldwide run on propane autogas. Only recently have Americans started to look seriously at alternative fuels, so there are relatively fewer autogas-powered vehicles here. Even so, there are hundreds of thousands of vehicles here already running on it, including delivery fleets, school buses, taxi cabs and police vehicles.

I lease my trucks. How do I work with my leasing company to get autogas vehicles?

Your leasing company can work with your Ford or GM fleet sales manager to order dedicated propane vehicles direct from ROUSH or GM.

What is the price of the conversion?

As with traditional fuel vehicles, price varies by model and equipment. The GM 6.0L and the ROUSH pickups and vans cost about $10,000 to convert. Bi-fuel aftermarket systems are in the range of $5,000 to $6,500 to install. Blue Bird buses cost about $13,000 more than the base diesel model.

Keep in mind that autogas will more than pay for itself over the expected life of the vehicle through lower fuel costs and a much lower cost of ownership than traditional fuel vehicles.

Who services the vehicles?

ROUSH and GM have support networks through their dealer networks that respond to service issues on autogas vehicles the same as they might for traditional fuel vehicles. Aftermarket systems each have different methods of support, but each company has effective strategies in place to meet the needs of their autogas users.

Can my mechanics work on these vehicles? How do they obtain training?

Each of FerrellAutogas’ technology partners offers training for fleet mechanics to properly maintain and troubleshoot the systems. Your FerrellAutogas Consultant can help coordinate the appropriate training with our technology partners.

Can my mechanics be trained to install the conversion systems?

Depending on the automotive solution you select, most of our technology partners do offer this as an option to qualified accounts.

Can I keep propane vehicles in a garage?

Yes. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Code 58 establishes the rules on this and provided that they are properly converted there are no concerns with garaging autogas-powered vehicles.

Do the vehicles arrive from the dealer already converted?

Typically the dedicated ROUSH, GM, Blue Bird and Collins buses all arrive at your facility fully converted. Conversion of legacy vehicles using aftermarket kits is also usually done locally.

What is the warranty on the vehicle?

The ROUSH, GM, Blue Bird and Collins buses all carry the OEM warranty, as well as coverage for the autogas systems. The aftermarket bi-fuel systems each have their own warranty covering their system.

What is the range of the vehicle?

Generally, the range of an autogas-powered vehicle is about 90% of what you’d see from a similar gasoline model, depending upon on the tank configuration and size. This compares favorably with other alternative fuel choices like CNG, which can reduce range by as much as 70 percent. Estimated range on various models is as follows:

  • ROUSH F-150, F-250, F-350: In bed – extended range tank: ~450 miles
    • Under bed tank: ~225 miles 
  • ROUSH E-150, E-250, E-350: under bed tank: ~300 miles 
  • ROUSH E-450: under bed: to be determined
  • GM 6.0L:
    • In bed – extended range tank: ~450 miles o Under bed tank: ~225 miles
  • Blue Bird Vision: ~300 miles
  • Collins Class A bus: ~300 miles
  • Bi-fuel aftermarket: ~500 miles (combined gasoline and propane)

How much weight does the fuel tank add?

Even though the autogas tanks are 20 times stronger than gasoline tanks the added weight is negligible. On the ROUSH vans for example only five additional pounds are added to the weight of the vehicle.

Where do the tanks go on the vehicle?

There are different tank locations based on the model: Pickups can either have a tank in the bed or under the bed in place of the spare tire. The tanks on the dedicated vans are in the same place as the OEM gasoline tanks. On the buses, the tanks are under the vehicles in the frame rails. On sedans the tanks are usually in the trunk.

What is the operating pressure of the fuel system?

Propane systems are considered low-pressure systems. Propane naturally liquefies at 170 psi and the operating pressure of an autogas fuel system is ~200 psi. By contrast, CNG systems have an operating pressure of ~2,500 to 3,000 psi.

What vehicles are available today and what is coming to the market?

The majority of offerings are in vehicle weight class 1-5 and target fleet vehicles such as pickup trucks, vans, shuttle buses, school buses, taxis, delivery vehicles and police vehicles. Ford/ROUSH and GM have plans to extend their offerings, but no announcements have been made yet about what models and engine sizes they will offer. See a list of what’s available for your fleet.

What is the fuel economy on autogas-powered vehicles?

Much the same as with traditional fuel vehicles, fuel efficiency in autogas-powered vehicles varies from model to model, and application to application. As a general statement, dedicated liquid propane injection (LPI) vehicles have about 90% of the fuel efficiency of gasoline models due to the fact that propane has 10% less BTUs than a gallon of gasoline. This compares favorably to other alternative fuels like CNG, which can lower fuel efficiency by almost 70%.

And keep in mind that because the cost of fuel and the operating cost per mile are lower than with gasoline, fleets can often realize significant savings by transitioning to autogas.

Fueling Options

Is autogas really cleaner than traditional fuels?

 

Yes, autogas is cleaner burning than traditional fuel by every measure:  

Autogas’ exhaust creates 60 to 70 percent less smog-producing hydrocarbons than gasoline (Southwest Research Institute). 

Compared to gasoline, autogas yields 12 percent less carbon dioxide, about 20 percent less nitrous oxide, and as much as 60 percent less carbon monoxide (World Liquid Propane Gas Association, January 2003; California Energy Commission, January 2003). 

Autogas cuts emissions of toxins and carcinogens like benzene and toluene by up to 96 percent compared to gasoline (Southwest Research Institute). 

Autogas’ octane rating is 104, while premium grade gasoline’s is only 91 to 92. Autogas’ higher rating allows for a higher compression ratio in the engine and greater engine efficiency. This leads to significant reductions in exhaust emissions like carbon monoxide. 

Autogas is listed as an approved alternative fuel in the 1990 Clean Air Act and the Energy Policy Act of 1992.

 

What is propane?

Propane is a by-product of the oil and natural gas refining processes. In addition to heating millions of American homes and powering countless businesses and farms, propane is an extremely efficient and clean-burning fuel for automobiles and trucks. More than 90% of America’s propane supply is produced domestically, with another 7% coming from Canada.

Is autogas safe?

Forget what you’ve seen in the movies: Propane autogas is extremely safe, and especially when compared to traditional automotive fuels. In fact, propane tanks, whether under your grill or under your pickup, are about 20 times more puncture resistant than typical automotive fuel tanks.

Where can I get fuel?

FerrellAutogas fuels fleets by several different methods:

  • Installation of private fueling dispensers for your fleet
  • You can fill at any of more than 650 Ferrellgas locations nationwide
  • Via on-site fill from one of our +3,500 bobtail delivery trucks. This can be done at your fleet domicile daily or on an emergency basis for on-road out-of-gas situations
  • In some cities we also have and are continuing to build publicly accessible autogas refueling stations.

What do I do if a vehicle runs out of fuel on the road?

Unlike CNG vehicles that require a tow truck to take them back to the CNG station, autogas vehicles can easily be filled roadside by one of our nationwide fleet of bobtail delivery trucks.

Can my drivers fuel the vehicles themselves?

Yes. FerrellAutogas is happy to provide free training for your employees. The method of filling the vehicle is very similar to gasoline and not complicated.

How do I fill the fuel tank?

Propane-powered vehicles are filled much the same way as a traditional fuel vehicle. There is a yoke on the dispenser that must be twisted to ensure that it is sealed to the vehicle’s tank, but other than that the process and even the equipment used will be familiar to you. There is even an automatic fill stop system similar to the ones used on gasoline pumps that shuts off the system when the tank has reached capacity.

Is it difficult to fill an autogas-powered vehicle?

Not at all. If you can fill a car with gasoline, you can fill an autogas-powered vehicle. It’s essentially the same process.

How long does it take to fill a propane-powered vehicle?

Much the same as traditional fuels, fill time varies by tank size. However, fill rates are very similar to what you’ve come to expect with traditional fuels and much faster than you’ll experience with CNG.

Can the autogas dispensers tie into existing fleet/fuel management software?

Yes.

Can I use a fleet card for fueling?

Yes.

What equipment is necessary to dispense autogas?

Autogas fueling systems are comprised of a storage tank, pumps, motors, meters, nozzles and hoses, all of which are similar to traditional fueling stations. Autogas fueling systems are portable and scalable so as your fleet grows you can add on to or relocate fuel systems to accommodate the growth of your autogas fleet.

Can I purchase or lease autogas dispensing equipment?

Yes. FerrellAutogas sells and leases fuel dispensing equipment, with many customers paying an annual lease of just $1.00. On a lease, FerrellAutogas assumes responsibility for maintaining all leased equipment.

If a customer purchases dispensing equipment, FerrellAutogas will maintain the equipment at the normal hourly labor rate plus the cost of parts.

How much do autogas fueling stations cost?

Depending on the size of the fleet, some customers pay a minimal amount in infrastructure costs. The price is dependent on whether the customer is buying or leasing the equipment, the size of the storage tanks involved, and the requirements for the actual dispenser. FerrellAutogas works with customers to provide much of the equipment at low cost to the customer in return for a fuel contract.

Who takes care of the permitting for propane fuel stations?

FerrellAutogas is happy to acquire any necessary permits for fuel station installation.

Environmental / Green

Is autogas really cleaner than traditional fuels?

 

Yes, autogas is cleaner burning than traditional fuel by every measure:  

Autogas’ exhaust creates 60 to 70 percent less smog-producing hydrocarbons than gasoline (Southwest Research Institute). 

Compared to gasoline, autogas yields 12 percent less carbon dioxide, about 20 percent less nitrous oxide, and as much as 60 percent less carbon monoxide (World Liquid Propane Gas Association, January 2003; California Energy Commission, January 2003). 

Autogas cuts emissions of toxins and carcinogens like benzene and toluene by up to 96 percent compared to gasoline (Southwest Research Institute). 

Autogas’ octane rating is 104, while premium grade gasoline’s is only 91 to 92. Autogas’ higher rating allows for a higher compression ratio in the engine and greater engine efficiency. This leads to significant reductions in exhaust emissions like carbon monoxide. 

Autogas is listed as an approved alternative fuel in the 1990 Clean Air Act and the Energy Policy Act of 1992.

 

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