Propane & CNG Vehicle Refueling


Refueling of a propane vehicle involves filling the vehicle’s on-board storage cylinder from a dispenser connected to a storage tank. Just as propane is stored in the engine fuel tank as a liquid, it is stored and handled as a liquid at the fuel dispenser. Propane is pumped from the dispenser storage tank into the vehicle tank. This method takes the same amount of time needed to refuel a gasoline or diesel vehicle (about 10-12 gallons per minute).

Propane fleet vehicles generally must return to their home base for refueling. However, public refueling stations exist in all states. The cost of building propane fueling stations is similar to, or lower than, comparable-sized gasoline dispensing systems. Propane refueling facilities are designed in compliance with nationally recognized standards and local building and fire codes, and must follow stringent safety regulations (see Industry Safety Standards).

Propane Refueling Site Locator

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Source: Alternative Fuels Data Center

The U.S. Department of Energy maintains the most complete alternative fuels refueling site database in the country. Propane refueling stations throughout the country can be located using this link:

Special Information on CNG (Compressed Natural Gas)

Because many people have recently been exposed (through the news media) much about this application we wish to update Fleet Managers considering Propane as to the present status of CNG. CNG will perhaps join propane as an alternate fuel for vehicles within the next 5-10 years. Unfortunately CNG isn’t immediately applicable because there is little or no infrastructure available (re-fueling stations which are very expensive and require significant maintenance) and it is extremely expensive to covert existing vehicles. Instead of converting vehicles to utilize CNG we feel manufacturers will have to make these vehicles new at the factory. Then as demand for CNG vehicles increases it will be followed by the construction of new re-fueling stations.