Propane, also known as Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG), is a clean-burning, gaseous fuel that is pressurized and stored as a liquid when used in vehicles. Propane burns more cleanly than gasoline and can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 20% compared to gasoline on a life cycle basis.
Typically, propane produces up to 90% fewer carbon monoxide emissions and 50% fewer toxic emissions than gasoline. This is a key reason why this fuel is used to fuel equipment used in indoor applications such as forklifts.
Propane has had the largest market share of any vehicle alternative fuel in British Columbia. This has been due to a number of factors, such as:
Vehicle manufacturers are no longer making dedicated propane fuelled vehicles, and the market is being serviced through conversions of existing gasoline vehicles. Because of a $3000 - $4000 cost of conversion, high-use vehicles, such as taxis and delivery vans, have been the prime market for propane. High use allows an operator to recapture the conversion cost through fuel savings over the life of the vehicle.
A vehicle can be converted to run on propane alone, or to run on either propane or gasoline. Equipment to convert vehicles is readily available, as are the facilities to install and service them. BC companies that provide aftermarket conversions for propane include Technocarb Equipment.