Propane Facts is the online resource in Canada for information about propane and its fleet benefits

WITH FEWER EMISSIONS & GREATER COST-EFFECTIVENESS

PROPANE IS CANADA'S LIGHT- AND MEDIUM-DUTY FLEET SOLUTION

Photo credit:

propanemarc.com

Propane makes fleet sense. Here's why. 


For high-consumption transportation fleets, reducing lifecycle and fuel costs is paramount - reducing harmful emissions is a bonus now, but will be a requirement in the future. Propane takes care of both. Both nationally and globally, propane is the most widely used and accepted alternative to conventional petroleum-based transportation fuels like gasoline and diesel.

 

According to the World Liquid Propane Gas Association, global consumption of propane as a motor fuel has been rising rapidly in recent years, reaching 26.4 million tonnes in 2014 – an increase of 61% compared to the 2003 level. Meanwhile, global production also continues to rise, growing over 4% since 2014 to reach 284 million tonnes in 2015.

 

Explore the sections below to learn more about this powerful fleet fuel.

ECONOMICS

ECONOMICS

EMISSIONS

REFUELING

TECHNOLOGIES

VEHICLE PLATFORMS

 

ARE YOU A FLEET OPERATOR?

FIND OUT HOW MUCH YOUR FLEET

IS CONTRIBUTING TO

GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS

READY FOR CARBON TRADING?

PROPANE'S LOW CARBON CONTENT 

BEATS GASOLINE AND DIESEL IN 

CAP AND TRADE REGULATIONS

EMISSIONS

By choosing propane over conventional fuels we can make immediate improvements to both our national GHG output and our air quality - improving our overall well-being.

Research has shown that children travelling inside a diesel-powered school bus may be exposed to a level of toxic diesel exhaust four times higher than someone driving in a car ahead of it.  Releasing fewer harmful pollutants makes propane not only a cleaner vehicle fuel but also a healthier one. School bus fleets converted to propane from diesel emit significantly less carbon dioxide and fine particulate matter - and protect the health of the children who use them. 

FLEET BENEFITS AT A GLANCE

The numbers speak for themselves. 

On the road, propane beats gasoline...

AVERAGE OF

40%

LESS COST ON AN EQUIVALENT

PRICE PER GALLON BASIS

*Alternative Data Fuels Centre

UP TO

60%

LESS CARBON MONOXIDE

*World Liquid Propane Gas Association

UP TO

96%

LESS TOXINS & CARCINOGENS

*Southwest Research Institute

AT LEAST 

22%

LESS GHG EMISSIONS

*World Liquid Propane Gas Association

UP TO

70%

LESS SMOG-PRODUCING

HYDROCARBONS

*Southwest Research Institute

UP TO

20%

LESS NITROGEN OXIDE

*World Liquid Propane Gas Association

CANADA'S TRANSPORTATION EMISSIONS

2014 GHG emissions

increased by

20%

in Canada above

the levels in 1990

Emissions have

increased by

32%

in the transportation sector since 1990

Transportation emissions

in 2014 accounted for

23%

of Canada's total

GHG output

Transportation emissions

in 2014 were the

2nd

largest contributor to total GHG output

According to Environment Canada, Canada currently contributes approximately 2% of the global GHG output, with the transportation sector accounting for over 23% of our total emissions. Since Canada only houses approximately 0.5% of the world's population, we are disproportionately affecting climate change - an effect heightened by our reliance on oil. Propane can fill the oil void, reduce emissions, and ensure our energy independence for generations to come. 

All while saving your fleet money.

 

FOR HIGH-CONSUMPTION FLEETS, PROPANE OFFERS THE

LOWEST OVERALL LIFE-CYCLE FUEL COSTS

ECONOMICS

Propane as a fleet transportation fuel is best suited to high-consumption fleet vehicles with centrally located refueling. Fleets such as law enforcement vehicles, paratransit vehicles, school buses, couriers, and urban delivery vehicles benefit most from propane's fuel savings. 

Propane delivers better performance for each dollar invested, lowering the total cost-of-ownership for your fleet. Propane pricing fluctuates with supply and demand just as gasoline and diesel pricing does, but it does so while maintaining the cost savings delta. Propane pricing also exhibits less volatility than gasoline and diesel pricing, offering you long-term stability. By powering your fleet with propane, you are therefore guaranteeing your fuel savings regardless of the price fluctuations of conventional fuels. Factoring in the cost of expensive diesel fleet maintenance, along with increasingly stringent emission standards, propane will continue to outperform over the life-cycle of your fleet.

The evidence is clear, irrefutable, and comes from many independent sources: Propane is the best choice of transportation fuel for light-duty fleet operators in Canada, who want to reduce operating costs, while reducing harmful emissions.

Professor Gerald Higgins | The Richard Ivey School of Business, Western University

CURRENT
FUEL
PRICING
PROPANE CURRENTLY OFFERS
COST SAVINGS OF

59%

COMPARED TO GASOLINE

$0.705

$1.192

$1.231

$0.701

$1.195

$1.221

$0.725

$1.185

$1.265

$0.764

$1.176

$1.228

Prices last updated April 5, 2021

 
Lower Life-Cycle Operating Costs
Affordable Propane Infrastructure

On a consumption equivalent basis, propane is cheaper than conventional petroleum-based fuels on a net fuel cost basis. For a fleet operating on propane, the fuel cost savings over gasoline and diesel can often completely offset the upfront cost of the propane engine technology within the first year. Fleet fuel 

savings are even greater when compared to ethanol-blended gasoline since ethanol has less energy content than the gasoline it displaces.

Conversion to a mono- or dual-fuel propane fleet can be an even more attractive option when refueling infrastructure is already in place and when volume propane fuel discounts are available. The return on investment of switching your fleet to propane depends on the average distance traveled and your upfront infrastructure cost.

Some propane distribution companies roll in the cost of propane refueling infrastructure into your supply contract as a fixed price per litre. This option eases the initial investment burden for converting your fleet to a cheaper, cleaner alternative fuel.

Many propane fuel suppliers offer turnkey refueling infrastructure solutions. In these cases, the station owner or fleet is only responsible for the cost of equipment that cannot be removed from the site when the fuel contract expires. This can make the upfront cost of converting your fleet to propane very affordable. You will immediately benefit from the operational fuel savings gained from using propane as a fleet fuel without the burden of paying off the upfront capital investment in propane refueling infrastructure. 

TALK TO AN EXPERT TO 
 
HOW MUCH PROPANE CAN SAVE YOUR FLEET 
PROPANE VEHICLES OFFER THE
LOWEST OVERALL
COST OF OWNERSHIP

"Compared with its diesel buses, TSC has noticed significant cost savings with propane autogas on routine maintenance such as oil changes and fuel filters."

Maintenance Matters

Propane Education 

Research Council

 
 

BY MANY STANDARDS, PROPANE MOTOR FUEL TANKS ARE SAFER THAN GASOLINE TANKS

In the event of an accident, propane motor fuel tanks are far less likely to rupture and cause an explosion than a gasoline tank. Additionally, propane motor fuel tanks will not explode in the event of a vehicle fire. Unlike a gasoline tank that will explode when heated, as a propane motor fuel tank heats up propane vapour is expelled from an integrated propane pressure relief valve in a safe and controlled manner. 

 

Propane fuel tanks are also equipped with electronic service valves that shut off the flow of propane to the engine when the ignition key is off. All propane motor fuel tanks are certified pressure vessels by the American Society of Engineers (ASME) and are manufactured under the requirements of the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) B51 Code

 
 PROPANE'S HIGH OCTANE RATING MAKES IT AN IDEAL CHOICE
FOR SPARK-IGNITED INTERNAL COMBUSTION, AND CAN OFFER
IMPROVED PERFORMANCE AND FUEL
ECONOMY OVER GASOLINE

OCTANE RATING

PROPANE: 104-112

GASOLINE: 87-92

REFUELING

Propane refueling infrastructure costs less than gasoline, diesel, compressed natural gas, or liquefied natural gas infrastructure to install and operate.

Fuel providers and vehicle fleets can position propane dispensers alongside gasoline, diesel, or other alternative fuels. The infrastructure needed for propane refueling is very similar to gasoline and diesel equipment, as shown in the example below. 

Like conventional fossil fuel refueling sites, propane is transported to the site via truck. Unlike conventional fuels, propane is stored as a pressurized liquid.

BUILDING A PRIVATE REFUELING STATION

                                                                                                                                   

Propane refueling infrastructure can be designed to fit your specific fleet needs. The best refueling option for your fleet will depend on size, routes, and refueling timing. 

Propane production, storage, and bulk distribution capabilities already exist across Canada, which means that establishing infrastructure for propane vehicle refueling only requires the build-out of dispensing equipment, including the storage tank, pump, and dispenser.

REFUELING DISPENSERS

While a propane refueling dispenser is very similar to a gasoline dispenser, propane is delivered to the vehicle under pressure so that it remains in liquid form. When the vehicle motor fuel tank is full, the dispenser stops automatically in a similar manner as a gasoline dispenser would.

REFUELING PROCEDURE

Refueling requires connecting a dispenser nozzle onto the vehicle’s fill valve. As a safety precaution, the propane motor fuel tank is equipped with an 80% stop-fill device to prevent over-filling. The most common vehicle fill connection is the 1-3/4” ACME threaded connection, but ongoing industry innovation has led to the Euronozzle. 

The Euronozzle connection has incorporated technological advancements in propane dispensing  technology, and has been engineered to be superior to a threaded connection in four distinct ways: 


       Eliminates the potential for cross-threading vehicle connections
       Completely mitigates the risk of dispenser-vehicle pull-aways
       Substantially reduces fugitive emissions
       Looks and feels like a conventional gasoline or diesel nozzle

Instead of attaching to the vehicle fill coupling using a threaded connection, the Euronozzle fastens through a quick connect that is only activated when the handle is engaged. Once the handle is disengaged, the Euronozzle conveniently pops off of the vehicle fill valve immediately. Read the Elaflex and Stäubli product brochures to learn more about Euronozzles.

Photo credit:

propanemarc.com

PROPANE INFRASTRUCTURE vs. COMPRESSED NATURAL GAS INFRASTRUCTURE

Propane refueling installations are less expensive than compressed natural gas (CNG) installations.

As an added benefit, propane as a fuel also offers better vehicle range and performance over CNG.

15
1

LPG FUELING

STATIONS

CNG FUELING

STATION

=

INITIAL

CONSTRUCTION COST*

2
1

LPG VEHICLES

CNG VEHICLE

AFTERMARKET

CONVERSION COST*

=

1.5 X

LPG VEHICLES OFFSET

MORE EMISSIONS THAN 

CNG VEHICLES 

HARMFUL

EMISSION REDUCTIONS

PER DOLLAR INVESTED*

*Data from

Autogas for America

ENGINE TECHNOLOGIES

Propane-fueled vehicles are proven to deliver comparable horsepower, torque, and towing capacity to conventionally-fueled vehicles.

 

And while diesel engines require substantial time in the shop for repairs on complex emissions systems as well as special additives, the reliability of the propane engine technologies below keep your fleet running - and all while emitting less than conventional fossil fuels.

Vapour Ported Injection
Liquid Direct
Injection
Liquid Ported Injection

With Vapour Ported Injection technology, liquid propane passes through a vapourizer prior to entering the engine intake manifold.

 

Also known as a gaseous phase sequential injection, this system still relies on a converter to vapourize the gas like with the old carbureted systems, but fuel injection takes place via a series of electrically controlled injectors. This allows for more accurate metering of the fuel to air ratio than was possible with previous carbureted technology.

 

As a result, fuel economy, power, and emissions are greatly improved. Vapour ported injection is the most widely available technology and the most frequently used for after-market conversions in Canada.
 

With Liquid Ported Injection technology, propane is injected as a liquid under pressure into the engine intake manifold and does not pass through a vapourizer.

 
Inherent to the natural thermochemical properties of propane, propane vapourises instantly in the intake manifold resulting in a cooling effect of the surrounding air. This increases the density of the fuel-air mixture and results in increased engine efficiency and power output.

 

The result is better performance and fuel economy with fewer emissions than vapour ported injection systems.

Liquid Direct Injection systems utilize injectors coupled with a high pressure fuel pump to inject liquid propane directly into the combustion chamber of the engine.

 

Much like gasoline direct injection technology, Liquid Direct Injection propane technology is currently the most advanced system available. Liquid propane is injected under pressure and vapourizes instantly in the combustion chamber, increasing the anti-knock behaviour of the fuel, unlocking the true potential of the engine design while at the same time drastically reducing emissions.

 

The result is superior engine performance and efficiency than liquid ported injection technologies. 

 
IN THE THRIVING PORT CITY OF GUANGZHOU, CHINA... 
      100%        90%
OF CITY TAXIS USE PROPANE
OF CITY BUSES USE PROPANE

According to Auto News, vigorous testing has shown Guangzhou's propane vehicles to have near-zero carbon emissions, with a smoke concentration value nearly 78% less than petroleum-based vehicles

Guangzhou, China
Photo credit: China Clean Expo

AFTER-MARKET CONVERSION

After-market conversions allow for further customization of the vehicle platform and engine technology pairing and are the most common of propane vehicles found on the road today. 

 

After-market conversions in Canada must be conducted by a qualified professional. Under provincial regulations, service technicians and qualified system retrofitters must carry an internal combustion alternative fuel certificate called an ICE-P certification in order to be licensed to work on a propane vehicle. ICE-P certifications are obtained through the Propane Training Institute. 

 

There are three major OEM automotive manufacturers in Canada that have engine platforms suitable for up-fitting with propane engine technology when coupled with a certified conversion system.   
 

AUTOMOTIVE MANUFACTURERS

2.7L V6 Direct Injection

3.5L V6 Direct Injection

3.7L V6 Liquid Ported Injection

 

5.0L V8 Liquid Ported Injection

 

6.2L V8 Liquid Ported Injection

6.8L V10 Liquid Ported Injection

3.7L V6 Liquid Ported Injection

5.7L Hemi V8 Liquid Ported Injection

6.2L Hemi V8 Liquid Ported Injection

4.3L V6 Direct Injection

5.3L V8 Direct Injection

6.0L V8 Direct Injection

CERTIFIED CONVERSION SYSTEMS
Digitronic certified conversion system
ICOM alternative fuel certified conversion system
Landi Renzo alternative fuel certified conversion system
Prins alternative fuel certified conversion system

A qualified system retrofitter (QSR) will work with the OEM dealer to install a propane conversion for either a mono-fuel or dual-fuel application. QSRs can economically and reliably convert new or in-use light- or medium-duty vehicles for propane operation. Certain light- and medium-duty vehicles can be ordered from a dealer with a gaseous prep engine package. This package includes hardened valves and valve seats to further increase the performance of the engine under higher operating temperatures and lower lubricity from gaseous fuels such as propane.

In Canada, propane system conversions are not required to meet federal emission standards, so there is no requirement for a propane system conversion to undergo an emissions test after up-fitting. However, it is expected that a converted vehicle or engine either meets or exceeds the same Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) emissions standards as the original vehicle or engine for the given model year. For this reason, it is important that conversions be performed by reputable QSRs.

VEHICLE PLATFORMS

ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURER

Propane vehicles that have passed the CMVSS Test Methods under 301.1 for LPG Fuel System Integrity or that have certified OEM technology as per the requirements of CSA B149.5 can be purchased directly from the factory. These vehicles have been manufactured with an engine that is dedicated for use with propane fuel and carry the OEM warranty.

 

AFTER-MARKET CONVERSIONS

Aftermarket conversions involve the up-fitting of an existing vehicle engine to enable the use of propane fuel in either a mono-fuel or dual-fuel application. There are four major after-market propane technology providers that have approved engine technology in Canada as per the requirements of CSA B149.5. 

 
 

CONSUMPTION OF PROPANE AS A MOTOR VEHICLE FUEL HAS

INCREASED BY OVER 50%

AROUND THE WORLD SINCE 2005

OEM OFFERINGS

There are currently two manufacturers of buses in Canada that offer crash-tested, 

Canadian approved OEM propane vehicles direct from the dealership.


Both of these companies partner with a propane fuel system provider and utilize specially designed engine technologies to replace OEM gasoline or diesel engines. Explore each company's OEM offerings below, or click a logo to scroll directly.   

Blue Bird logo school bus
IC Bus school bus

WITH

WITH

BLUE BIRD WITH ROUSH CleanTech

Ford Motor Company and ROUSH CleanTech power the acclaimed Blue Bird vehicles.

 

The ROUSH CleanTech technology is a dedicated liquid injected propane system that replaces the gasoline or diesel fuel system. The ROUSH CleanTech system is installed by Blue Bird at the factory.

 

There are over 7,500 Blue Bird propane buses in service in North America, and two Blue Bird propane platforms available for use in Canada: the Vision Bus and the Micro Bird G5.

Propane Vision Bus

Photo credit: bluebird.com

The Vision bus features a Ford 6.8L engine and ROUSH CleanTech fuel system.

Propane-Powered Micro Bird G5

Photo credit: bluebird.com

The Micro Bird G5 features a Ford 6.8L ROUSH CleanTech fuel system and engine.

"Each of our Blue Bird Vision Propane school buses displaces 40,000 gallons of diesel and emit 150,000 fewer pounds of carbon dioxide over their lifetime. We are providing clean student transportation while saving taxpayers money so we can put it back in the classroom where it counts most."

Pat Mitchell - Director of Transportation

Mobile County Public Schools | Mobile, AL

FIND A BLUEBIRD
 
DEALER OR SERVICE CENTER
 
IC BUS WITH POWER SOLUTIONS INTERNATIONAL

IC Bus has chosen the Power Solutions International (PSI) fuel system to power their OEM vehicle.

 

The PSI engine offers more transmission options and uses the same diagnostic system regardless of fuel or power needs to achieve consistency in drivability and serviceability fleet-wide. From IC, the CE Series is crash-tested and available in Canada. 

CE Series Bus

Photo credit: icbus.com

The CE Series bus features an 8.8L PSI propane engine.

"In a head-to-head comparison between 56 of our propane autogas buses and 56 diesel buses, propane autogas saves Alvin ISD 37¢ per mile. To me, it’s a no brainer to use propane autogas. Propane autogas 

runs cleaner, it’s low maintenance."

 

Juan Mejias - Fleet Maintenance Manager Alvin Independent School District  | Alvin, TX

FIND AN IC
 
DEALER OR SERVICE CENTER
 

Video courtesy of

CleanFUEL USA

PROPANE IS THE MOST COMMONLY USED

ALTERNATIVE TRANSPORTATION FUEL IN CANADA,

WITH MORE THAN 25 MILLION PROPANE-POWERED VEHICLES WORLDWIDE

1.71

MILLION

LPG VEHICLES

1.79

MILLION

LPG VEHICLES

INDIA

ITALY

2.45

MILLION

LPG VEHICLES

2.48

MILLION

LPG VEHICLES

SOUTH KOREA

POLAND

3.34 MILLION

LPG VEHICLES

TURKEY

LEARN MORE ABOUT PROPANE FLEETS IN ACTION

Video courtesy of 

propane.com

ABOUT PROPANE FACTS

Propane Facts is revolutionizing the Canadian energy environment by promoting the use of propane - a clean, affordable, and abundant alternative energy source. We are positioning propane as the future of on-road fleet transportation.

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