Propane, also known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or autogas, has been used worldwide as a vehicle fuel for decades. It is stored as a liquid, and propane fueling infrastructure is widespread.
Propane Fuel Basics
Also known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or autogas, propane is a clean-burning, high-energy alternative fuel that's been used for decades to power light-, medium- and heavy-duty propane vehicles.
Propane is a three-carbon alkane gas (C3H8). It is stored under pressure inside a tank and is a colorless, odorless liquid. As pressure is released, the liquid propane vaporizes and turns into gas that is used for combustion. An odorant, ethyl mercaptan, is added for leak detection.
Propane has a high octane rating and excellent properties for spark-ignited internal combustion engines. It is non-toxic and presents no threat to soil, surface water, or groundwater. Propane is produced as a by-product of natural gas processing and crude oil refining. It accounts for about 2% of the energy used in the United States. Of that, less than 2% is used for transportation fuel. Its main uses include home and water heating, cooking and refrigerating food, clothes drying, powering farm and industrial equipment. Rural areas without natural gas service commonly rely on propane as a residential energy source. The chemical industry uses propane as a raw material for making plastics and other compounds.
Also known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), propane is a domestically produced, well-established, clean-burning fuel. Using propane as a vehicle fuel increases energy security, provides convenience and performance benefits, and improves public health and the environment.
Propane Fueling Stations
Thousands of liquefied petroleum gas (propane) fueling stations are available in the United States.
Propane, also known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), or autogas, is considered an alternative fuel under the Energy Policy Act of 1992. According to the Propane Education and Research Council, there are more than 147,000 on-road propane vehicles in the United States. Many are used in fleet applications, such as police cars, shuttles, and school buses.
The availability of new light- and medium-duty propane vehicles has surged in recent years, especially for fleet use. Propane vehicles can either be OEM vehicles or conversions from gasoline vehicles. Engines and fueling systems are also available for heavy-duty vehicles, such a street sweepers and school buses, including some prep-ready engines from original equipment manufacturers.
Propane Laws and Incentives
State and federal governments enact laws and provide incentives to help build and maintain a market for propane fuel and vehicles.
Find laws and incentives for propane by state.