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A Propane Alternative to Diesel School Buses



Propane is becoming quite a popular alternative fuel for school buses and other medium- to heavy-duty vehicles around the US. Organizations in the transportation industry are looking to save money as diesel prices continue to rise. To show how switching to propane fueled buses affected school districts, Roush Clean Tech recently conducted four case studies. One obvious similarity between all these case studies was apparent: switching to propane fueled school buses saved school districts considerable money.

The results (and savings) were truly noteworthy. In one case study, data showed that although propane buses are initially more expensive, the cost can be made up by the benefits of switching to propane within a few years. These benefits include diesel reduction grants and cheaper fuel prices (propane costs on average about 40-50% less than diesel, with less fluctuation in price over time). Maintenance is also a lot cheaper for propane buses as well. With public opinion becoming less tolerant to pollution, emission standards are gradually increasing despite federal regulations for gas powered vehicles. As standards rise, diesel buses are requiring more expensive equipment just to keep up.

According to these case studies, savings from switching from diesel to propane fluctuated between 40-60%. Not only were these savings from the lower cost of propane, but the lower cost in maintenance made a big difference as well. If you or fleet might be interested in switching from diesel to propane powered vehicles, check out the case studies to see all of the cost reductions from switching from propane fueled school buses here: Leander ISD, TCO Case Study, and Transportation Department  Maintenance Costs. If you’re concerned about the cost of switching, VW Settlement money may be able to help. Contact Carina Soriano at 704-688-7035 or csoriano [at] centralina [dot] org for more information.

More case studies from Roush Clean Tech can be found and downloaded here:

Centralina Council of Governments
9815 David Taylor Drive
Charlotte, NC 28262

Part of the U.S.
DOE Clean Cities
National Network