AFV Solutions has received a certificate of conformity from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its gasoline/LPG bifuel conversion system for the model year 2003 Ford Motor Co. 4.6 liter engine.
The system allows a vehicle to operate on either gasoline or Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) with a flip of a switch, unlike dedicated propane or natural gas systems which can only operate on one fuel source.
The AFV Solutions system is the only EPA-certified LPG bifuel system currently available in the U.S. market for the 2003 Ford 4.6 liter engine. The company will sell it as a conversion system to be installed on the Ford Crown Victoria, Crown Victoria Police, Lincoln Town Car and Mercury Grand Marquis automobiles.
We chose this Ford engine family for our initial system because the 4.6 liter-equipped Crown Victoria is the fleet vehicle of choice for law-enforcement agencies, taxi services and state and federal government agencies throughout the United States.
Fleet operators that retrofit with our system and purchase bulk propane can substantially reduce their fuel costs, often by up to 40 percent, while increasing their vehicles’ longevity and reducing maintenance costs.—AFVS President Jeff Groscost
The company is finalizing gasoline-propane bifuel systems for model year 2004 and 2005 Ford 4.6 liter engines, and expects EPA certification of these systems within 90 days.
LPG is a mixture of several gases with propane as the chief ingredient. LPG is formed naturally, interspersed with deposits of petroleum and natural gas. Natural gas contains LPG, water vapor, and other impurities that must be removed before it can be transported in pipelines as a salable product. About 55% of the LPG processed in the U.S. is from natural gas purification with the other 45% coming from crude oil refining.
LPG vehicles emit about one-third fewer reactive organic gases than gasoline-fueled vehicles. Nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide emissions are also 20% and 60% less, respectively.
Unlike gasoline-fueled vehicles, there are no evaporative emissions while LPG vehicles are running or parked, because LPG fuel systems are tightly sealed. Small amounts of LPG may escape into the atmosphere during refueling, but these vapors are 50% less reactive than gasoline vapors, so they have less of a tendency to generate smog-forming ozone. LPG also has an extremely low sulfur content.
LPG delivers roughly the same power, acceleration, and cruising speed characteristics as gasoline, albeit with a somewhat reduced driving range, due to an energy content 70–75% that of gasoline.
But its high octane rating (around 105) means that an LPG engine’s power output and fuel efficiency can be increased beyond what would be possible with a gasoline engine without causing destructive knocking. Such fine-tuning can help compensate for the fuel’s lower energy density.