Finds 50% Cost-per-Mile Reductions for Some, But Challenges Too
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory has released a study that examines five school bus fleets that are successfully using propane autogas to fuel buses.
“The case study describes how some of the school districts saved nearly 50% on a cost per mile basis for fuel and maintenance relative to diesel, in addition to seeing a variety of other environmental and social benefits,” states an Argonne summary.
The study “describes both the benefits and challenges of deploying propane in school bus fleets,” states a release. Argonne used the AFLEET – Alternative Fuel Life-Cycle Environmental and Economic Transportation – tool developed for DoE’s Clean Cities program (F&F, November 7, 2013) to evaluate the vehicles’’ performance.
The fleets examined are
- Alvin Independent School District in Texas: 28 buses;
- Dallas County Schools: 10 buses;
- Northside ISD (Texas): 59 buses;
- Ysleta ISD (Texas): 8 buses; and
- Gloucester County Schools (Virginia): 5 buses.
The results showed payback periods ranging from three to eight years. The study also found “that propane school buses exhibited a smaller fuel efficiency penalty relative to diesel buses than typically expected.”
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Source: Argonne National Lab with Fleets & Fuels follow-up