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Propane: Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)

Ford F-150 (Bi-Fuel LPG)

Propane, or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), is a clean-burning fossil fuel that can be used to power internal combustion engines. LPG-fueled vehicles can produce significantly lower amounts of some harmful emissions and the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2). LPG is usually less expensive than gasoline, it can be used without degrading vehicle performance, and most LPG used in U.S. comes from domestic sources.

The availability of LPG-fueled light-duty passenger vehicles is currently limited. A few light-duty vehicles—mostly larger trucks and vans—can be ordered from a dealer with a prep-ready engine package and converted to use propane. Existing conventional vehicles can also be converted for LPG use. Since propane is stored as a liquid in pressurized fuel tanks rated to 300 psi, LPG conversions consist of installing a separate fuel system if the vehicle will run on both conventional fuel and LPG or a replacement fuel system for LPG-only operation.

Advantages and Disadvantages of LPG
Advantages Disadvantages
  • 90% of propane used in U.S. comes from domestic sources1
  • Less expensive than gasoline
  • Potentially lower toxic, carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and nonmethane hydrocarbon (NMHC) emissions
  • Limited availability (a few large trucks and vans can be special ordered from manufacturers; other vehicles can be converted by certified installers)
  • Less readily available than gasoline & diesel
  • Fewer miles on a tank of fuel

Additional Information

Fuel Economy Information for Alternative Fuel Vehicles

Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center (U.S. Department of Energy)

Energy Information Administration (U.S. Department of Energy)

View Data Sources...
  1. Domestic production and imports of LPG: EIA. 2011. Annual Energy Review 2010. Tables 5.3 and 5.11