Great American road trip – by the numbers

October 4, 2023 By    
Photo by Dave Wager

Photo by Dave Wager

About a month ago, I embarked on what is fondly known as the great American road trip. The trip was made in the Minnesota Propane Association’s Ford Explorer with an EPA-approved autogas system.

Headshot: Dave Wager, MinnPGA


The car is bi-fuel capable, meaning it runs on propane but can still run on gasoline, if necessary. It has a smaller tank for propane at 11.5 usable gallons.

The total trip covered 3,444 miles in eight states. I refueled with propane 21 times; 3,106 miles were driven on propane, 338 miles on gasoline. I never had to refill the gas tank until the trip was over. I did not pre-plan any of my propane stops. I wanted to experience this trip the same as any other person and have the ability to change plans, destinations en route, which I did a couple times. I primarily used the alternative fueling station locator app. The longest stretch I went without propane was 120 miles along a very remote part of a state with little to no services.

I traveled on flat interstates, back country roads, to the top of Pike’s Peak and back to Minnesota with absolutely no problems with the vehicle. Prior to this trip, I would tell people that propane is better suited as a fleet fuel, where the vehicles return to their home location every day to refuel. That is true – propane is an ideal fleet fuel for lowest cost of operation and greatest emission reductions. But after this trip, I now know that propane is also an ideal fuel for any use.

Even with the small tank size, the vehicle’s bi-fuel ability removed any range anxiety. I also learned firsthand how available propane is already in our country. The added bonus was the many great conversations I had along the way, usually started by someone saying, “I had no idea.”

That is perhaps one of the biggest hurdles we may face – recognition of our product. Hopefully I made a difference on this trip as the conversations always ended with “this makes total sense.” Let’s all do our part to get the word out on all the advantages of our wonderful propane.

Source: Dave Wager

Dave Wager is the executive director of the Minnesota Propane Association.

Comments are currently closed.