Your move: The second step to propane autogas

April 3, 2017

Timing is everything, and in my last post, we touched on why now is a good time for fleet owners to transition diesel vehicles to clean-burning, American-made propane autogas. Propane can cut operating costs by an average of 40 percent compared to conventional fuels.

The first step was to assess your current fleet situation. The next step is to choose who will provide the propane fuel system for those vehicles. One key decision to make is whether you plan to convert your existing vehicles or replace them with new ones. If you’re choosing to convert existing vehicles, it’s important to learn how much time your existing vehicles will be out of commission.

Other questions to consider include:

  • What fuel system technology does the vehicle modifier offer? Propane vehicles use either a carbureted vapor system or a liquid propane injection system. Liquid injection costs a bit more, but has benefits related to power, torque and overall vehicle performance.
  • What certification does the vehicle modifier have? Propane vehicle conversions in the United States require U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and/or California Air Resources Board (CARB) certification. Make sure your modifier of choice has it.
  • Is the vehicle modifier preparing to be compliant with heavy-duty onboard diagnostics II? In the past, alternative fuel vehicles were exempt from HD-OBD II regulations. Starting with the 2018 model year engine, they must comply similar to gasoline and diesel vehicles.
  • What is the vehicle warranty? This can vary substantially. Ford, for example, guarantees the original Ford factory warranty when vehicles are purchased by one of its Qualified Vehicle Modifiers.
  • What support will I get after purchasing my vehicle? You’ll want to work with a vehicle modifier that will provide service and support throughout your vehicle’s lifecycle.

If you’d like to learn more about propane autogas systems, this page outlines the components ROUSH CleanTech engineers and manufactures.

Watch this space for the next step in transitioning to propane: determining a fueling strategy. Or join the conversation here.

About the Author

Joe Thompson | Group President, Roush Products Group

Joe Thompson is group president of Roush Products Group, working within the corporate structure of Roush and overseeing ROUSH CleanTech and ROUSH Performance Products. He is a member of the Roush Enterprise Steering Committee. 

Previously he served as president of ROUSH CleanTech, growing the company from six employees to more than 90. Under Thompson’s leadership, ROUSH CleanTech won numerous quality control and environmental awards, including Supplier of the Year from Blue Bird and a Michigan Green Leader honorable mention. He is a recipient of the 2013 Green Fleet Sustainability All-Star award.

Thompson has worked with Roush since 1996. In his previous appointment as vice president and general manager, he helped establish ROUSH Performance as one of the premier brands in the automotive aftermarket segment.  

Raised in Ohio, he earned a degree in public relations from Ohio University’s Scripps School of Journalism. He lives with his wife and two sons in Ann Arbor, Mich.

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