Some major players in the international propane game, representing two dozen countries, gathered in Washington DC earlier in February to talk LPG, along with autogas (a.k.a. propane that goes in a car’s gas tank). Here are three quick takes on what was discussed.
1. Autogas has a perception problem.
“Are you telling me that I can run a truck with the same gas I use to cook hamburgers and hot dogs?” one moderator asked, repeating a question many people ask when they hear about propane-mobiles. What needs to be done? Raise awareness about propane’s multi-platform functionality away from the grill.
2. When it comes to U.S. autogas, carmakers are focused on fleet vehicles.
One speaker said General Motors is developing a 6-liter and 8-liter autogas engine to bring to market over the next two years. These are engines for heavy-duty commercial trucks or buses. But there was no mention of consumer models, which are being developed overseas — and which would likely help boost propane’s status in the eyes of the public.
3. Autogas remains a good-conscience fuel.
Propane’s green advantages get trotted out in the local news every time a school district thinks about buying a new propane school bus, and sometimes the numbers don’t quite match up. So here’s the official word from the industry: Autogas engines cut greenhouse gas emissions between 15 and 25 percent compared to gasoline. In addition, about 90-percent of U.S. propane is produced in the country, with that number expected to increase in coming years.