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Blog>Study Shows Propane Defeats Electric for Carbon Footprint in Trucks

Study Shows Propane Defeats Electric for Carbon Footprint in Trucks

Study Shows Propane Defeats Electric for Carbon Footprint in Trucks

A new study is debunking the common perception that EVs are “zero-emissions” vehicles and offer the lowest emissions in medium- and heavy-duty fleet vehicles. In most of the United States, propane autogas produces fewer emissions than comparable electric vehicles. Among other benefits compared to electric vehicles, autogas is reliable in all climates. From extreme temperatures to hurricane season, you can count on autogas to always perform.

As the study shows, there is no such thing as a “zero-emissions” vehicle. In a comparative analysis conducted by the Propane Education and Research Council (PERC), researchers found propane-powered medium- and heavy-duty vehicles provide a lower carbon footprint solution in 38 US states and Washington, DC when compared to medium- and heavy-duty EVs charged using the electric grid in those states. When comparing the difference in life-cycle equivalent carbon dioxide (CO2eq) emissions of a single medium-duty vehicle, propane autogas on a national average emits 125 tons of CO2eq less than an electric medium-duty vehicle.

The total difference in life-cycle CO2eq emissions (US tons) between a single medium-duty conventional propane vehicle and a single medium-duty EV. Photo Courtesy of the Propane Education and Research Council.

As we move forward, propane autogas will continue to improve environmentally by leaps and bounds through new engine developments and renewable propane. One of the many benefits is that it can be scaled up while remaining an ultra-low carbon intensity process. In vehicle engines, renewable propane has a carbon intensity of 19%, which is five times better than diesel and gasoline. Also, renewable propane’s carbon intensity score is 14, compared to 39 for an electric vehicle, 78 for fossil propane and 86 for gasoline. 

The total difference in life-cycle CO2eq emissions (US tons) between a single medium-duty renewable propane vehicle and a single medium-duty EV. Photo Courtesy of the Propane Education and Research Council.

To learn more about the comparative analysis, read Steve Whaley, Director of Autogas Business Development at PERC, full writeup on the study by clicking HERE.