U.S. fleet operators seek options to face rising fuel prices

Steve Whaley, the Autogas Business Development Director for the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), spoke about fleet operators’ growing interest in lowering vehicle fuel costs, especially now that fuel prices are rising. “There’s always a renewed interest from folks who are trying to keep vehicles on the road within a budget that had already been set for them,” he says. “They’re scrambling for relief.”

Whaley recalls receiving calls from fleet operators when he worked for vehicle solutions providers that performed aftermarket Autogas vehicle conversions. Now, he says PERC also receives an uptick in calls amid rising fuel prices. Many are from consumers looking to run their vehicles “on something other than gasoline.”

U.S. average gasoline and diesel prices, stoked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, set record highs in March. “People in the United States are not used to these kinds of gasoline and diesel prices that, quite frankly, the rest of the world has had to deal with for a long time,” he comments, noting how 26 million vehicles worldwide are operating on LPG due in part to high fuel prices in their respective countries and LPG as an easy fit.

No matter the type of call, Whaley finds an opportunity to promote the benefits of this clean energy, and that conversation becomes even easier when the gap widens between conventional fuels and Autogas.

LPG already powers about 70,000 on-road vehicles and 22,000 school buses in the U.S., according to PERC, and federal infrastructure legislation signed into law late last year could spur growth in the market. Autogas vehicles and refuelling infrastructure are eligible to compete for billions of dollars in funding through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Federal support comes at a time when fleets are facing a challenging environment – not only due to rising fuel prices but also breakdowns in the supply chain that have diminished new vehicle availability. Therefore, aftermarket conversion options will give fleets immediate relief, Whaley adds. For more information, please check this link.

Photo: PERC

13 April 2022