More than 800 school districts are saving 20 to 50 percent on a cost per mile basis for fuel and maintenance operating propane buses compared to diesel. School bus fleets have saved up to $3,000 per propane bus per year when compared to the diesel buses they operate. Historically, propane autogas averages 50 percent less than diesel and 30 to 40 percent less than gasoline. Dealing with tightening standards on diesel emissions leads districts into challenges related to diesel emissions reduction equipment — diesel particulate filters (DPF), manual regeneration, diesel emission fluid (DEF), and more. Operating on propane removes the complexity and cost of after-treatment measures, which can accelerate return on investment and cut operating costs.
“Our mechanics find our propane buses require little maintenance,” said Marvin Middlebrooks, maintenance manager for Bibb County School District. “Routine oil changes, which require significantly fewer quarts of oil per change, and filter replacements have shown the buses to be very mechanic-friendly.”
Plus, propane has the lowest cost of infrastructure of all transportation fuels, saving money on fueling station needs.