With a variety of refueling options available, fleet owners can create a customizable solution ideal for their fleet
By Tucker Perkins
Over the last four decades, fleets have turned to propane autogas as their energy source of choice thanks to its clean, affordable, and reliable benefits. But beyond the operational benefits, many fleet owners are pleased to learn that propane autogas also provides convenient and reliable refueling solutions.
Fleet managers can choose from five different refueling options, each of which offer distinct advantages to help a company find a solution that best fits its business and maximizes productivity. Propane autogas refueling infrastructure is designed to scale and can easily adapt to the varying needs of any fleet. Affordable and scalable refueling is one of the many reasons propane autogas vehicles provide the lowest total cost-of-ownership of any fuel.
Here are the five scenarios in which the scalability of propane autogas refueling infrastructure can meet the needs of any fleet.
Larger fleets of 50 vehicles or more
For large fleets that require a centralized refueling location, an advanced private station is a great solution. This station includes a large propane storage tank(s) with sufficient capacity to meet energy needs with two or more dispensers. In some cases, fleet owners may add an overhead canopy for weather protection. Like all permanent propane autogas refueling solutions, the station can easily grow with the expansion of a fleet to add more dispensers and increase fuel storage capacity as demand increases.
In many instances, fleets have the option to own the infrastructure or lease it at little to no cost in exchange for a mutually beneficial fuel contract. If the leasing option is available, fleets will be responsible for site preparation, electrical supply, and the installation of crash protection. Propane suppliers and infrastructure providers will work with you to determine the best solution for your fleet.
Small fleets of fewer than 50 vehicles
Smaller fleets with a centralized refueling location can choose an affordable standard private station. This refueling station includes a 1,000- to 3,000-gallon propane storage tank(s) plus one or more propane autogas dispensers. Like an advanced private station, fleets may have the option to lease or own the infrastructure.
Fleets without space for permanent infrastructure
In some instances, fleet owners may be able to choose a mobile refueling option, which allows them to take advantage of the benefits of propane autogas without installing permanent infrastructure. If this convenient solution is available, fleet owners will work with their propane supplier to customize a refueling plan for the individual vehicles on-site utilizing a propane bobtail delivery truck. Costs and situations vary with this option, so check with your propane supplier for details and pricing.
Fleets in the process of building permanent refueling infrastructure
Some fleets may be in the process of installing permanent infrastructure and need to deploy vehicles prior to completion of the installation. Propane suppliers may be able to provide a temporary refueling solution complete with a fuel storage tank and dispenser mounted on a trailer that can be delivered to designated locations or work sites.
Beyond being a good option for short-term use, this is an ideal solution for fleets that require refueling while working for long periods on sites located away from the centralized refueling location. A propane bobtail truck will replenish the fuel supply on a specific delivery schedule created by you and the propane supplier. Like mobile refueling, costs and situations will vary.
Fleets that service a wide area
Another option that requires no infrastructure investment is identifying and utilizing existing propane autogas refueling network stations. There are public and private refueling networks in most areas of the country that provide fuel for fleets as needed. Refueling networks provide 24/7 security and convenience and use a card lock system that tracks fuel usage and costs per vehicle, while providing convenience along routes. A complete list of public refueling stations is available from the U.S. Alternative Fuels Data Center on the Propane Council website.
If a network is not available in your area, a propane supplier may establish one if the fuel consumption for fleets in your area justifies the investment required to install the refueling site. Alternately, several fleets can combine to provide the fuel demand required to justify the installation of a larger refueling network.
With several customizable options, selecting the right propane autogas refueling infrastructure for your fleet will be easy. Your local propane supplier can help select the right option for you. For more information on propane autogas refueling strategies, visit Propane.com/Fleet-Vehicles.
Tucker Perkins is the president and CEO of the Propane Education & Research Council. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.