It's on everyone's minds these days. Gas going up 10 cents every week. Everyone is cutting spending, walking, and selling their SUVs just to make ends meet and stay afloat financially. People that once snickered at people using mopeds to get to work, are now actually considering it as an option.
Fingers are being pointed everywhere: OPEC, Iraq, Congress, commodity brokers, and even gas station owners. Car manufacturers are even dropping their truck divisions, focusing on smaller cars. I just heard of a large dealership that sold 1 truck in the past month, and getting worse.
As alternatives abound, one solution I don't hear a lot about is the propane option. Most everyone has heard of a propane-powered car. A lot of state governments use them in their fleet, but it has rarely gotten the attention of the general public. I just drove by my local gas station, and the price doesn't seem to be much different from normal gas, but that's just at the gas station. If you go to the ‘special’ public stations, prices are much cheaper. If you are one of the lucky ones in Utah, propane can be as cheap as 63 cents a gallon. Uhm, yes, that is correct - 63 cents. So if you needed to fill up your 20 gallon SUV, that's a total of $12.60 - compared to $80 normally. That's a significant savings!
So you are saying, “What's the catch?" Well, there are always some. First you either need to buy a vehicle that runs on propane, or you can convert one. I've read many articles around where people are paying $6,000-$10,000 for a conversion. For most people, that's ridiculous. You might as well buy a new car, or wait 8 years before you'll recoup your cost. I wholeheartedly agree. . . . . BUT . . . there is an alternative to that.
A different type of propane called CNG (compressed natural gas) is a very viable option. A company in Argentina (Galileo) has been specializing in this particular propane conversion technology since 1983, so they've worked out all the bugs. They manufacturer kits where you can convert almost any vehicle to CNG. The kits themselves run under $2000, and if you are somewhat mechanically-inclined, you can install it yourself. The kit comes with a set of instructions to complete the conversion from A to Z. A new company has been established that is the only distributer for these kits - CNGOutfitters.com. With exclusive rights for distribution in the USA, they provide kits, instructions, tanks, and installation.
But do not forget to get the correct tank for this kit. Installing an incorrect tank can cause major problems down the road if you are not careful. They have to be DOT stamped and certified. CNGOutfitters provides specifications on where to install the tank on your car, and how it needs to be installed.
There are other options out there. Electric cars are out there, but years from a viable solution. Hydrogen doesn't solve the problem, since they use as much fossil fuel to produce than it makes. Propane is the best current alternative that already has the infrastructure and technology in place. It has a solid foundation and proven stability which will continue for years to come.
John Fallentine is a web developer, search engine optimizer, programmer, and entrepreneur. He writes articles like these to get better search engine results for websites.