Evolution Of Propane In Automobiles

Kevin Cassar

October 5, 2021

Propane In Automobiles
 

Since the automobile was invented well over one hundred years ago, pioneers in the automotive industry such as Henry Ford and Louis Chevrolet pushed the envelope to create some of the most significant and timeless automobiles to date. Even in the early days of the Ford Model-T, engineers have been developing different forms of technology to power the automobile for the masses. In order to do so, many forms of primary energy have been sought after including diesel, gasoline, and petroleum-based products. As technology has progressed, throughout the last century, engineers have worked diligently to develop ways to aid fuel delivery into the internal combustion engine.

For many decades, the automotive and energy sectors have relied on various forms of primary energy including gasoline, coal, and diesel. However, in recent years, many automotive manufacturers have been pressured by socio-economic change to push innovation to develop alternative forms of energy into commercial and consumer vehicles that aid in lowering the greenhouse gas emission output. Therefore, society has begun to lean towards vehicles that are not only more fuel-efficient but produce lower carbon output through alternative fuel options including Propane, Electrification, and Hybrid powertrains.

As technology and innovation progress throughout the automotive industry, engineers are looking towards various forms of energy that will not only help with efficiency but also give consumers the power of choice in what energy source they would like to use. In today’s modern world, choices and options are more abundant than ever. With the push for electrification and hybrid powertrains at an all-time high, the development of other alternative energy in the automotive industry tends to be overlooked due to societal perception. One such source of energy that tends to go unnoticed is Propane (LPG), also known as Propane Autogas. Automobiles that are powered by Autogas are becoming more abundant than ever with commercial and consumer vehicles to help aid in fuel efficiency, longevity, and overall running costs to aid in the ever-changing world of sustainability.

How Automobiles Evolved

Fueling Evolution

Over the last thirty years, automotive manufacturers have been developing and testing various applications in their vehicle lineup such as Propane Autogas, Hydrogen, and Natural Gas to aid in the push for a more sustainable vehicle for not only consumer use but also commercial transportation and logistics. Since the first public automobile, manufacturers have been coming up with new solutions to help consumers travel while being fuel-efficient for whatever journey lies in front of them. With society and the world pushing for a more environmentally friendly ecosystem, engineers are researching new innovative ideas in various forms of energy to be able to power a more sustainable future for both the automotive and transportation sectors. With the development and use of Propane, Natural Gas, Electrification, and Hybrid Powertrain technology progressing at such a rapid pace, much progress has been made in the automotive alternative energy sector.

Other forms of alternative energy including Propane are being overlooked due to the stigma of society towards fossil fuels. Unfortunately, with society trending towards electrification, other forms of alternative power including Propane are being overlooked. Due to this, it has been more challenging for other forms of alternative energy including Propane to gain traction versus electrification due to the perception that it is a dirty fossil fuel. While in reality,x the truth is that standard Propane is one of the cleanest forms of energy out in the marketplace when compared to other forms of alternative power. A benefit to using propane now and in the near future is the abundant use of technology that is implemented into society while having the reassurance that supply is high and plentiful for many years to come, which will aid in sustainability for the environment and energy sector.

With alternative energy expanding at such a rapid pace, society has more options to choose from now than in recent history. While electric vehicles are being produced at a record pace, automotive manufacturers are looking to produce even more alternative energy options. By doing this, they will give both the everyday consumer and commercial customer the choice to lower the cost of operation while producing few carbon emissions. Nowadays, vehicles are becoming the testbed to push the boundaries of what is possible in various forms of technology such as electronics, safety, suspension, and especially energy efficiency. Since the beginning of the automobile, engineers, and energy companies have been figuring out ways to produce energy that is the most effective way to burn fuel while creating the most power.

The progression of fuel and energy has made its way into the automotive and transportation industry for either personal or commercial use. Since the mid-2000s, automotive companies such as Ford, Chevrolet, and Tesla have paved the way for electric vehicles and hybrid platforms. At the same time, society trends to go towards zero-emission vehicles due to societal stereotypes about fossil fuels. In order to facilitate this evolution to change this perception of fossil fuels, engineers and manufacturers alike are continuing to push the boundaries of the internal combustion engine to make them cleaner, more efficient, and longer-lasting for many years to come.

How A Combustion Engine Works

Expanding Internal Combustion Technology

Since the inception of the internal combustion engine began in the late 1890s, engineers and innovators alike have continued to push the boundaries of what is possible from a piston-driven engine. Throughout the early 1900s, OEM manufacturers like Ford constantly developed new technology and systems to enhance compression, fuel efficiency, reliability, and overall maintenance. Without the push for new innovation and development, OEM manufacturers wouldn’t be able to meet the demand from society and ever-changing regulations. Through this, we are able to have some of the most productive and efficient vehicles in history to date.

During the 1950s and 1960s, a significant innovation in engine technology and development came to be known as fuel injection. Fuel injection is the process when fuel is introduced into the combustion chamber through a direct injection of fuel through what is known as a fuel injector. This process aids in creating the controlled explosion that develops the power to propel your vehicle forward during your journey ahead. As years have progressed, engineers have developed new and innovative ways to introduce new fuel into engines such as Propane and Natural Gas to help maximize life and efficiency for commercial use mainly. But as years have progressed, it has made its way to the consumer.

As both the progression of fuel and engine technology evolved through the last thirty years, so did the integration fo Propane-powered vehicles. More engineers realized that gasoline can only go so far as inefficiency and ingenuity. So looking to other forms of alternative energy in the form of a primary source is where many motives lie within the automotive industry today other than electrification.

 

propane versus gasoline

Propane Vs. Gasoline

While the world and technology move towards a more sustainable future, engineers from manufacturers are working to develop ways to expand consumer and commercial use of vehicles for all services. While electrification and hybrid powertrains are becoming the standard push now more than ever, we must look abroad further than just electric to keep roads moving forward. Unfortunately, the truth about electric vehicles is that while they are great for the short and medium-term; but in the long term they can create more harm than good to the environment. The primary reason for this is that the lithium and cobalt batteries once depleted cannot be completely destroyed and can be toxic, not to mention the impact on the environment of the lithium and cobalt mines. We referenced the differences between what a primary and secondary source of energy is in how Propane Energy Will Be In The Future.

While the push for more carbon-neutral vehicles is now more prevalent than ever before, it is vital to know that gasoline quality has improved drastically since it was lead-based. Propane is refined to a state where it is consistent in using and releasing fewer carbon emissions than some other primary energy sources such as diesel and coal. These are still highly used amongst society and are a common commodity, Propane and Natural Gas are being looked at further each day as effective alternative energy sources. 

As the push for sustainable and zero-emission vehicles is now more prevalent than ever before, an example of which is the many commercial fleets that are in the process of converting their fleets to Propane or Natural Gas such as bus lines, Amazon, UPS, Coca-Cola, and Police Departments.

Propane:

Also known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), or Propane Autogas come from the basis of Natural Gas. Propane is considered an alternative fuel under the Energy Policy Act of 1992. The Propane Eduation & Research Council states that there are nearly 200,000 on-road Propane automobiles with certified systems in the United States.

Gasoline:

A gasoline vehicle typically uses a spark-ignited internal combustion engine, rather than the compression ignited systems used in diesel cars and trucks. Gasoline is becoming not the gold standard in fuel when amongst the automotive industry. It is due to the high surge in hybrid, electric, and other alternative models of automobiles being manufactured in today's world.

Propane Vehicle Conversion

Why Convert Your Vehicle To Propane?

While the world and technology move towards a more sustainable future, engineers from manufacturers are working to develop ways to expand consumer and commercial use of vehicles for all services. While electrification and hybrid powertrains are becoming the standard push now more than ever, we must look abroad further than just electric to keep roads moving forward. Unfortunately, the truth about electric vehicles is that while they are great for the short and medium-term; but in the long term they can create more harm than good to the environment. The primary reason for this is that the lithium and cobalt batteries once depleted cannot be completely destroyed and can be toxic, not to mention the impact on the environment of the lithium and cobalt mines. We referenced the differences between what a primary and secondary source of energy is in how Propane Energy Will Be In The Future.

Electric vehicles are powered by primary energy sources, such as coal, natural gas, and petroleum, in today's climate these are frowned upon due to the stereotype that they hurt the environment around us, but when comparing to Propane it is one of the most fuel-efficient and clean-burning primary sources of energy there is. It is why more and more commercial fleets, that small and large companies own, are switching their vehicles over to Propane. Reason being that they can have a lower operating and maintenance cost than if they were to use electric vehicles in the long term. After the lifecycle of a lithium-ion battery, it is exceedingly hard to recycle them due to the spent lithium within the battery pack. It can be very harmful to the environment if not properly destroyed.

As society and the environment change, technology has to evolve to move the automotive industry forward. While electric and hybrid vehicles are becoming more mainstream now more than ever, we continue looking elsewhere for other forms of energy to power vehicles all across the United States. While it is going to take many decades for society to come to terms with the evolution of how alternative fuel will power vehicles for many years to come. Propane will continue to develop to be one of the most resourced ways to power one's vehicle while driving manufacturers to build engines and powerplants to further fuel economy, cost efficiency, and ergonomics for all consumers.

Finally, it will help you keep your cost of transportation down because of the abundance of Propane within the United States and are aiding in helping the environment become better for future generations to come. Propane is one of the main sources of alternative and primary energy that can be harnessed for decades to go for a brighter automotive future for commercial and consumer use.





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