Propane autogas fleet vehicle sales ‘hold steady’ in 2017

May 15, 2018 By    

Photo courtesy of Superior Energy Systems.

More than 13,000 propane autogas fleet vehicles were sold in 2017, consuming about 36.8 million gallons of propane annually, according to data compiled by the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC).

Many of these vehicles will be displacing those which use higher-emission fuels such as gasoline and diesel. The 13,045 propane autogas vehicles sold in 2017 were down slightly from the previous year (14,045 were sold in 2016), though the relatively flat sales are signaling to industry officials that more propane autogas growth is expected, PERC says.

“Propane autogas overcame significant challenges in 2017 – from the absence of federal incentives for alternative fuels from the federal government, to the incredibly low gasoline and diesel prices throughout much of the year ­­– and we received an overwhelming endorsement for our fuel in all markets. Propane autogas sales virtually held steady in a year where the conventional fuels held all of the advantages,” says Michael Taylor, director of autogas business development for PERC.

Opportunities helping propel propane autogas sales in the near term include new OEM solutions (both standard and optional equipment packages) for medium- and heavy-duty truck applications, which will impact numerous applications and vocations, PERC says.

PERC funded its first propane hybrid for light-duty vehicles in 2017 and continues to investigate the technology. According to the council, additional aftermarket Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board certifications will be added in 2018.

These new vehicle solutions are expected to not only increase sales, but also balance out OEM-dedicated propane autogas fleet vehicle sales with aftermarket conversions. In 2017, 68 percent of all propane autogas fleet sales were aftermarket conversions, but that is expected to fall to about 55 percent by 2021 as more OEM-dedicated vehicles become available, PERC says.

About the Author:

Clara Richter was a managing editor at LP Gas magazine.

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