Propane, also known as liquid petroleum gas (LPG) is produced as a byproduct of natural gas processing and crude oil refining. Most widely used in rural areas for heating homes and powering farm and industrial equipment, less than 3% of propane produced in the U.S. is currently used in vehicles. Interest in propane as a transportation fuel is increasing due to its domestic availability, low cost, and clean burning qualities.
Additional benefits of propane include:
- Propane is very competitive on a cost per mile basis
- Propane fueled vehicles reduce greenhouse gas emissions
- Using propane can reduce our dependency on petroleum
- Propane is widely available
- Propane engines and fueling systems are readily available for upgrading heavy-duty vehicles such as school buses, shuttle buses and street sweepers
- Numerous incentives are available for upgrading vehicles to propane
- It is estimated that there are more than 1500 locations in California where propane can be purchased for vehicles
- Currently, there are few propane vehicles available from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), although more offerings are coming to market
- Many existing propane fueling stations operate on limited hours and are unfamiliar with the various vehicles, making refueling difficult in some instances. It is expected that as propane vehicles become more available, more stations will be upgraded to make the refueling process easier and more efficient
- Propane’s energy content is approximately 25% less than gasoline. However, due to its lower cost, propane still remains an attractive choice for fleet operators
- Upfitting and certifying vehicles are costly processes
How is the Energy Commission Helping?
The Energy Commission has allocated several million dollars for a vehicle purchase incentive program aimed at encouraging vehicle upfits and expanding propane infrastructure in California.
Details and reservation applications for incentive vouchers