Propane is the winner on the ticket


In the interest of healthy democratic discourse, I’d like to engage in an honest debate between two heavy-duty fuels in the world of transportation: diesel and propane autogas. While the upcoming four years have the potential to hold political and economic changes, one thing remains constant: propane is an affordable, clean, steady solution for transportation needs in nearly every industry.

Let’s get the lineup started by comparing diesel and propane in three key areas: price per gallon, emissions, and availability.

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Price Per Gallon: Propane Autogas Vs. Diesel

In one corner, we have diesel — a fuel that’s been a longstanding favorite in the transportation industry. Despite its historical popularity, diesel costs more per gallon than most other fuels. At $4.46 per gallon today, it’s painful to fill up with diesel.

Over in the other corner, propane autogas delivers a strong punch to diesel at the pump. Propane consistently costs 50% less per gallon than diesel, and fleet managers can take advantage of alternative fuel tax credits, grants, and built-in low-price contracts with propane suppliers to drive down the price even further. With ever-fluctuating fuel prices today, the low cost of propane can have a significant positive impact on bottom lines for years to come.


Now, let’s move to emissions. Diesel emissions are widely known to cause respiratory distress in young children and have been labeled as carcinogens by the World Health Organization.

On the other hand, propane vehicles that use ROUSH CleanTech’s innovative technology are 90% cleaner than the EPA’s strictest standards. Propane is non-toxic, non-carcinogenic, and reduces harmful emissions by 64% compared to diesel. 

Moderator’s note: It’s true that both propane autogas and diesel meet EPA and CARB standards but diesel requires costly and complex aftertreatment.


There’s one final hot topic we should address: consumer availability. Diesel is incredibly abundant and can be found on nearly every street corner. Fleets that choose diesel certainly have easy access to it.

But, propane isn’t too far behind. Made right here in the U.S., propane is also abundant and widely available. There are 3,000 public propane autogas fueling stations in America. Propane is publicly available in every state, making it a practical and accessible choice for every fleet.


Let’s outline the results of the lineup today: while diesel may have the upper hand in terms of availability, propane comes out on top when it comes to cost savings and emissions. 

No matter what the next few years hold in terms of political landscape or government subsidies, propane is a steady, reliable solution for most transportation needs. It’s a cleaner and more cost-effective option that’s readily available across the nation. To learn more about the benefits of propane autogas, visit

Todd Mouw is the executive vice president of sales and marketing of ROUSH CleanTech, an industry leader of advanced clean vehicle technology. Mouw has more than two decades of experience in the automotive and high-tech industries. As former president of the NTEA Green Truck Association, Mouw helped set standards in the green trucking industry. To learn more, visit


  1. The author bases much of his claims against diesel on outdated information and older diesel technology, notably the health effects generalizations.

    Visit the Health Effects Institute website and look for the ACES Study results that demonstrate that new technology diesel engines – those with particulate filters and selective catalytic reduction systems achieve near zero emissions without harmful effects alleged from earlier generations of technology.

    Diesel powers 97 percent of large commercial trucks (Class 8) and 76% of all commercial trucks, There is a reason for that. it’s also why propane is a niche fuel typically only a few percent of certain weight classes.

    If the fuel works for you, great use it. Pick fuels based on facts.


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