From The Desk of Steve Whaley
Sign Up for News Updates
For years, many have extolled the virtues of going battery electric. But today as more vehicles are tested on real-world routes, electricity isn’t quite living up to its reputation. Put simply, as battery electric vehicles become more prevalent – especially in the medium-duty market — their shortcomings are, too.
Consider that the ideal setting for battery electric medium-duty vehicles is still only 120 miles on a single charge, but that range is significantly reduced with payload, weather, and the use of cabin climate control. Add in a long duty-cycle or vehicles covering multiple shifts in a day with little time for recharging (up to five hours for a battery), and electricity just doesn’t work.
What does work though is propane autogas. It’s a leading alternative fuel for many reasons, including engines with diesel-like performance, similar refueling times to gasoline and diesel, and the ability to drive more than 400 miles on a single fill.
Even when emissions are taken into account, propane is cleaner than electricity in 38 states, according to a recent medium-duty vehicle study. It’s why the Environmental Protection Agency includes propane autogas in its Clean School Bus Program, which opens funding in April.
As more school buses, transit and paratransit, food and beverage, delivery, and towing fleets are powered by autogas, the performance holds up. Fleet managers can be confident that when put to the test, propane autogas is a solution that works.