Heavy Duty Trucking

SEP 2014

The Fleet Business Authority

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oil refining. But about three-quarters of it is now produced from natural gas or is extracted from gas wells, the industry says. It becomes a liquid under moderate storage pressure, usu- ally about 125 psi. If released into the atmosphere, it puddles on the ground or a floor before evaporating, and its fumes stay low, like gasoline. That's why shops need no extra safety equip- ment to accommodate propane-fueled vehicles. Propane used as a motor vehicle fuel is called autogas, and 2,714 public filling stations in the U.S. now dispense it. Compare that to 737 for compressed natural gas and 57 for liquefied natural gas, according to the U.S. Department of Energy's website that tracks natural-gas fueling locations. Natural gas stations are expensive to build. A propane station, how- ever, costs only $10,000 to $15,000, and consists of a simple steel storage tank, a pump and dispenser. It can be set up quickly on a fleet's prem- ises, Taylor says, and "a supplier will work with any long-term customer. He'll put in the station for free, in return for a modest upcharge on the per-gallon price. Mobile refueling is available if you're trying to make up your mind about switching over your fleet. Fill rates are equivalent to gasoline and diesel," or 5 to 7 gallons per minute. Autogas prices vary around the country and according to agreements with suppliers. A typical per-gallon price is $2 to $2.50, though a con- sumer might pay $3 at a U-Haul outlet. Because propane is a popular heating fuel in rural areas, prices tem- porarily spiked during extremely cold weather last winter. But Taylor says a lot of that was due to supply interrup- tions, and users with contracts were not affected. Current propane engines are based on gasoline blocks, as are scores of available conversion kits. Light-truck kits cost $9,000 to $12,000, about the same as a CNG kit, and those for midrange trucks with gasoline Parcel Service run hundreds of propane-fueled trucks, and in March UPS announced that it was acquiring 1,000 more propane "package cars," primarily for use in areas where natu- ral gas is not readily available. Fuel-system suppliers such as Roush CleanTech offer testimonials WINTER 2014 0˚F CRITICAL LOAD From 0˚ F to 96˚ F in .16gph 66% reduction in PM emissions 29% reduction in CO Fuel savings of .84 gph on every start* Full equipment readiness in the coldest climates D5 Espar Heaters: They Just Make Sense www.espar.com (800) 387- 4800 * PRE-HEAT IDLE FREE TROUBLE FREE 0˚F 100˚F Field Test Data - Fairbanks, Alaska, February 2013. Hydronic D5 Heater Running Time/Pre-Heat minutes 60 minutes. Tests conducted by AJ Engineering Corp. Engine: Troy, MI. 7.6 L / 466 cu. in. *Based on a $4 gallon. Circle 162 on Reader Action Card from commercial and municipal cus- tomers who appreciate the fuel's low price, clean-burning characteristics and gasoline-like energy content and performance. More properly called liquefied petroleum gas or LPG, propane historically has been a byproduct of 92 HDT • SEPTEMBER 2014 www.truckinginfo.com ALTERNATIVE FUEL

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