Propane autogas fuel tanks on a work truck. Propane autogas or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is a clean-burning fossil fuel that can be used to power internal combustion engines. LPG-fueled vehicles, such as this work truck, produce fewer toxic and smog-forming air pollutants.

Propane autogas fuel tanks on a work truck. Propane autogas or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is a clean-burning fossil fuel that can be used to power internal combustion engines. LPG-fueled vehicles, such as this work truck, produce fewer toxic and smog-forming air pollutants.

Credit: Propane Education & Research Council

Maintenance: no new tools required

Technicians can service propane autogas engines using the same diagnostic tools as with gasoline.

Propane autogas requires less oil by volume than diesel and no additional filters or fluids.

Unlike gasoline and diesel, propane autogas doesn’t leave lead, varnish, or carbon deposits that cause premature wearing of pistons, rings, valves, and spark plugs. The engine stays clean and free of carbon and sludge, which means less maintenance and an extended engine life.

Financial incentives: public agencies qualify

Enacted in January 2013, the American Taxpayer Relief Act extended a 50-cents-per-gallon tax credit for propane autogas and up to $30,000 toward refueling infrastructure both retroactively and through the end of 2013.

State and local governments that dispense qualified fuel from an on-site fueling station are eligible for the incentive, which is applicable to fuel sold or used between Jan. 1, 2005, and Dec. 31, 2013.

Federal incentives can also be combined with state incentives and grants. For more information, consult the Alternative Fuels Data Center and Internal Revenue Service.

Michael Taylor is director of autogas business development for the Propane Education & Research Council. E-mail michael.taylor@propane.com; visitwww.propanecouncil.org. This article orginally appeared in the 2013 Public Works Manual.