Frequently Asked Questions

Why should school boards buy propane buses?
New propane-powered buses can cut school board operating costs by $.40 per mile over their existing diesel fleets. These savings can help pay for the capital cost of replacement buses, allowing school districts to put more taxpayer dollars into the classroom instead of on the road. Propane buses also have far lower levels of pollution than older diesel buses.

Why haven’t school boards bought propane buses before?
Propane-powered buses have only recently emerged as the best option for school buses because of the abundance and low cost of propane gas supplies in the US and the development of new technologies by U.S. manufacturers.

Is Propane safe?
Yes, it is very safe. Propane autogas is much safer than the gasoline used in cars. Propane is nontoxic, non-carcinogenic and non-corrosive. Its ignition point is 500 degrees higher than gasoline. Propane storage tanks are also 20 times more puncture resistant than gasoline tanks. And if propane autogas leaks, it vaporizes and dissipates into the air without causing human health problems. It does not puddle or leave a residue, causing stormwater pollution, and it cannot be ingested like gasoline.

How does propane autogas compare with other fuels in terms of pollution?
According to the United States Department of Energy, propane autogas burns cleaner than gasoline or diesel due to its lower carbon content. It also has lower life cycle greenhouse emissions than other conventional fuels. Natural gas, when combusted, has a lower greenhouse gas foot print than propane, but, when it leaks during the mining and transmission process, it remains in the atmosphere 25 times longer than propane.

How does propane autogas compare to diesel fuel in terms of cost?
Propane autogas costs about one-third less than diesel. Plus propane fueling stations cost about one tenth the cost of a CNG (compressed natural gas) fueling station.

Why not use CNG?
Compressed natural gas is a good alternative fuel. But it is a better fit for delivery and garbage truck fleets where the load factors and fleet miles are very different than school buses. Further, CNG requires expensive fueling stations as well as extensive retrofit of repair facilities and mechanic retraining. In contrast, propane autogas fueling stations are abundant, low cost (1/10th the price), repair facilities require no retrofit and mechanic training can occur in an afternoon. So propane is a better fit for school bus fleets.

Is Propane a domestic energy supply?
Yes. Approximately 90% of propane autogas comes from the U.S. Another 10% comes from Canada.