It’s an ongoing challenge for fleet managers to optimize the cost and efficiency of a vehicle fleet. Faced with rising costs for vehicles, parts, maintenance and, of course, fuel, how do you stay within budget? At the same time, how do you manage your fleet’s carbon footprint?
To help achieve these goals, more and more businesses are turning to auto propane, or autogas. Thanks to advancements in technology, propane is now one of the world’s most widely used alternative fuels, with more than 27 million vehicles using propane to fuel their engines. Propane is clean burning, less expensive than gasoline, and vehicles running on propane produce less harmful emissions than gasoline or diesel.
How Auto Propane Lowers Your Fuel Costs
Fuel is one of the largest costs for fleet vehicles and accounts for 26% of expenditures, second only to the cost of purchasing vehicles. Fuel is also the largest variable cost, making it the perfect candidate for cost-cutting measures.
If you are looking to cut fuel costs, propane is the natural choice. Historically, propane has been significantly less expensive than either gasoline or diesel. Today, gasoline and diesel are roughly twice the cost of propane in most regions in Canada. Consider these recent fuel prices in Vancouver:
- Unleaded Gasoline: 171.9 ¢/L
- Diesel: 142.2 ¢/L
- Propane: 90.3 ¢/L
When these prices were collected, propane users saved more than 50 cents per litre compared to drivers who filled their tank with diesel, and more than 80 cents per litre compared to gasoline. You can imagine how those savings add up over the course of a year for a single vehicle and for an entire fleet.
Ontario prices during the same month also indicate significant savings of up to 56 cents per litre:
- Unleaded Gasoline: 133 ¢/L
- Diesel: 123.4 ¢/L
- Propane: 76.5 ¢/L
The following chart highlights the prices of these fuels in Ontario from July 30, 2013, to July 25, 2019. It’s worth noting that gasoline and diesel prices have never dipped below the price of propane during this time span.
Carbon taxes are another factor to watch, as they are expected to rise over the next three years, impacting fuel prices for fleets. But as a more eco-friendly fuel, propane attracts lower carbon taxes. The Federal Carbon Tax, shown in the table below, is 50% higher for gasoline and 76% higher for diesel than for propane.
Save More With Cards At a Propane Fuelling Station
While auto propane prices are impressively low, using a cardlock fuelling system helps you save even more. Cardlocks are unattended fuelling sites designed for commercial fleet vehicles, and can be accessed by using a fleet fuelling card. Drivers using a Superior Propane Fuelling Card can see an additional savings, on average, of 15 cents per litre.
When drivers use cardlock cards at one of our propane fueling stations, fleet managers get comprehensive fleet-wide reporting. They always know how much fuel is being purchased without having to track down receipts or expense logs. This reduces costly administration time, which can consume upwards of 24 hours each month. Cardlock card statements also simplify payables, with a single invoice for monthly fuel and electronic payment options.
Superior Propane Cardlock fuel dispensers can be found all across Canada.
Lower Engine Maintenance Costs With Propane
Unlike diesel engines, propane vehicles do not require expensive DPF systems (soot/particulate filters) and DEF fluid to clean the exhaust. Propane naturally burns cleaner and does not require any additives or exhaust filters.
This reduces carbon build-up, improves engine life and reduces maintenance costs.
Lower Conversion Costs With Auto Propane
When converting gasoline vehicles to auto propane, there is an up-front cost to retrofit the vehicle -- roughly $4,500 to $6,500. This cost includes the tank, the conversion kit and labour associated to install the system.
By comparison, the average compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle conversion typically costs between $10,000 and $13,000.
On average it takes two years or less to recoup an auto propane conversion investment. After that, you simply enjoy the ongoing savings on fuel costs. Another way to think of it: using propane on a vehicle for its full lifetime can amount to savings equal to the cost of a new vehicle.
Converting a vehicle will not void its warranty. In fact, most vehicle manufacturers allow propane conversions on their vehicles and many have provided letters stating that adding propane to their vehicle does not void OEM warranties. Ford Motor Company even offers a prepped-for-propane option on their commercial line of vehicles – F Series Trucks and E Series Vans. The Ford website allows consumers and fleet managers to add the propane-prepped option at the initial order of a vehicle.
Look To Auto Propane For The Solution
Auto propane is a wise choice for fleet managers today. It is an affordable and widely used alternative fuel. Propane vehicles are a low-emission choice that improves the longevity of motors, reduces maintenance needs and significantly lowers fuel costs -- helping keep that budget in check.