School buses travel around four billion miles each year, providing transportation to more than 25 million American children every day.
Propane autogas, also called liquid petroleum gas, is much more than a promising alternative fuel for school buses. It is the perfect fit for school districts because:
- It is easily accessible, even in rural areas.
- It can cost less than gasoline and diesel.
- It is cleaner for the environment and, most importantly, children.
Since the early 2000s, autogas has been used as an alternative fuel for schools, particularly in areas with relatively lower propane costs. Today, propane continues to become a viable fuel substitute for many school districts across the country.
In August 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released a case study underlining the benefits of discovering the applicability of autogas for school buses.
Economic Benefits of Propane Autogas
The DOE case study reviewed five school districts nationwide with a combined 1,057 propane school buses. The report found that all five districts experienced lower operating costs, including up to a 50 percent reduction in fuel cost per mile and maintenance.
Operators also experienced notably lower oil change costs due to the reduced volume of oil required, along with longer drain intervals.
The findings concluded the incremental cost of the autogas buses and fueling setup can be recouped in 3–8 years.
Environmental Benefits of Propane Autogas
Perhaps the biggest benefit in moving to autogas is the removal of old diesel engines. This replacement plays a significant impact on the environment and human health.
With 25 million American children riding buses, their transportation safety depends on a clean, reliable fuel alternative to diesel.
The main benefit in replacing old diesel buses with propane autogas-powered fleets is the elimination of diesel particulate matter, a substance capable of causing cancer, which has been shown to disproportionately impact the health of children and elderly populations.
The study concluded that propane autogas is commonly a cheaper option than gasoline or diesel for school buses. More importantly, it is a much friendlier and safer alternative to diesel, which is impacting children’s’ lives.
Given the reports across the nation, it appears that propane autogas is the perfect fuel for school buses. If you’re thinking about a conversion to propane for your organization, look over the case study and let us know what you think! We’d be happy to discuss it with you.