Propane gas refill

How Propane Works to Fuel More than Just Your Home!

When you fire up the grill for a barbecue or light your propane fireplace for a cozy evening at home, you likely don’t even consider that some of the appliances inside and outside your home are powered by propane. But what about other propane-use ideas?

From propane-powered vehicles operating on propane Autogas to commercial propane equipment, propane is a clean, abundant, and affordable option to fuel cars, buses, restaurant stoves, and so much more.

In the days of skyrocketing gas prices, the idea of propane-powered cars and trucks may intrigue you. Read on and learn more about what propane Autogas is, how propane-powered vehicles work, Autogas stations, possible car conversions from gasoline to propane, and other questions you might have about what might be the future of fuel for many types of vehicles.

How Propane Vehicles Work

You might be surprised to learn that propane-powered vehicles work the same way gasoline vehicles work. As you have a gas tank on your car right now, a vehicle powered by propane has a somewhat low-pressure fuel tank that instead holds liquid propane.

There are two types of propane-powered vehicles: vapor-injected and liquid propane-injected. While both hold liquid propane in the storage tank, they do not use the propane in the same way.

Vapor-injected engines use a regulator (or vaporizer) to convert the liquid to vapor inside the engine compartment. In contrast, liquid propane injection does not convert the propane to vapor until it reaches the fuel injector. The latter of these propane engine types leads to increased engine efficiency and performance. 

A pressure relief valve in the storage tank vents fuel from the tank if pressure increases too much. The tank also has an overfill protection valve that shuts off the filling of liquid propane gas once 80% capacity has been reached, much the same way your home propane storage tank works.

Propane-powered vehicles, of course, still have many of the same components as their gasoline counterparts, such as transmission, battery, exhaust system, fuel filter, fuel injection system, and electronic control module (ECM).

Are Propane Vehicles More Cost Effective?

From lower per gallon costs for Autogas as compared to gasoline to greater engine life and thus fewer maintenance expenses, propane-powered vehicles are more cost-effective than conventional gas automobiles.

So, even though, in many instances, fuel economy is slightly less than that of conventional vehicles, the fact is that propane is less per gallon and burns cleaner, resulting in a better-functioning vehicle without the usual wear and tear you’d find in your current gas guzzler.

In addition, you might benefit from tax incentives or rebates relating to the use of alternative fuel. Since propane is verified as an alternative fuel as outlined in the Energy Policy Act of 1992, Uncle Sam might reward you for filling up with propane—another way to enjoy the cost-effectiveness of driving a car powered by propane.

Can I Convert My Current Car to Propane Powered?

Now that you’ve discovered the efficiency improvement and cost savings of having a propane-powered vehicle, your next question might be: can I convert my conventional car to propane?

The short answer is: yes.

Starting preferably with a well-maintained car, you need only purchase a conversion kit, which will include a tank, fuel controller, electronic components, and actuators. It’s essential to be sure that the selected kit works with your engine.

The liquid propane tank for your car will mount inside your trunk; if you’re converting a van or truck, you will swap the gasoline tank underneath the vehicle with a liquid propane tank.

If you are unsure or uncomfortable with installing a propane gas conversion kit on your car, take it to a professional garage or dealer and let them do the work.

It’s worth noting that if you live in California, regulations in that state forbid vehicles with retrofit systems to run on any alternative fuel, including propane unless the said system has been assessed and certified by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

Propane Autogas Stations

So, how easy is filling up when you drive a propane-powered vehicle?

For commercial fleet owners operating many propane-powered vehicles, there is typically an on-site Autogas station right on the premises to meet their needs. But what about the average Joe looking to fill his liquid propane gas tank?

According to most recent statistics, there are 1,238 Autogas stations for public use all over the United States. You shouldn’t have any issues feeding your propane-propelled car the energy it needs to get you and keep you on the go!

Using pumps at propane fuel stations is very similar to using gasoline stations. Pull up to the dispenser as you would a gas pump, shut off your vehicle, open the fuel door, remove the nozzle from the dispenser and screw it to the tank fill valve as you would attach your tank to your barbecue grill, push “Press Here to Start,” and squeeze the nozzle handle.

The aforementioned overfill protection valve will prevent you from putting too much precious propane into the tank; the nozzle will stop dispensing when 80% capacity is reached.

Congratulations! You’ve filled up your propane-converted vehicle! Pay with your card as you would at any conventional gas station, and you’re on your way—leaving the air cleaner and your car operating more efficiently!

Contact Us Today!

If you’re ready to work with a team that always puts its customers first, contact Diversified Energy today! We have a friendly and resourceful staff that is eager to assist with all your propane needs.

Other Propane Use Ideas

Pool heaters, backup generators for emergency power outages, specialty cookers, and fryers, tankless water heaters, outdoor kitchens…

These are just some other propane-use ideas you can incorporate into your propane-rich life!

There are even propane gas-powered lighting fixtures for both indoor and outdoor use. Light pathways, walkways, patios, decks, and even entranceways with decorative light fixtures that add ambiance and provide illumination where you need it.

About Diversified Energy

Founded in 2000 and noted as the 31st largest US propane retailer, North Carolina-based Diversified Energy prides itself on the outstanding customer service it provides to its more than 25,000 customers across NC and parts of Virginia, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

In December 2021, Diversified Energy was acquired by Sharp Energy, a subsidiary of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation since 2013. Sharp Energy has operated for 35 years. The acquisition added nearly 20,000 commercial and residential customers.

Diversified/Sharp Energy continues its dedication to home and commercial propane delivery, automatic “watchdog” delivery service, emergency 24/7 response, layout and installation of gas lines, sales and leasing, as well as installation of propane storage tanks, and partnerships with manufacturing leaders for the sales, installation, and service of indoor and outdoor fireplaces, grills, tankless water heater systems, furnaces, and stoves. These leaders include such well-known names as Kozy Heat, Rinnai, Bradford White, Napoleon, and Broilmaster.

Customers are served from eight NC showrooms/offices and the Mount Joy, PA, location.

Sharp Energy established a partnership with Alliance AutoGas in 2012, allowing it to provide further propane fueling stations, vehicle propane fuel conversion system installations, and fleet vehicle stations to its more than 52,000 customers in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Florida. Experience the convenience and efficiency of propane AutoGas… contact Diversified today!