DeKalb County, Ga. is among the early adopters of the ROUSH F-150 LPI Conversion, with 73 units currently in operation. The county began using liquefied propane gas (LPG) F-150s in 1996. 

ROUSH is a specialty-vehicle company that combines race-proven technologies with advanced automotive engineering. The company developed a propane fuel system for the F-150 5.4L V-8. According to the company, propane works as well as gasoline, has very little impact on the environment, saves money, is reliable, safe, and domestically produced, among other benefits.

"Our first ROUSH units started arriving in May of 2008," said Kristie Swink, director of communications, DeKalb County. The fleet currently runs 129 LPG units in its approximately 3,500-unit fleet. 

DeKalb selected the ROUSH Propane-Powered F-150 in a search for "a clean and convenient alternative fuel," said Swink. "We tried CNG, but the volume of area needed to store the gas was too large. We tried an electric Ford Ranger pickup, but it did not meet our dependability requirements." 

DeKalb chose LPG because of availability, storage density, price, and adaptability to units in the county's fleet.

"We have experienced fuel cost savings, especially as the price of gasoline increased in the summer," said Swink.

The propane-powered F-150 improved DeKalb's gas mileage over gasoline-powered counterparts by 1.25 mpg (11.5 mpg average for LPG-powered units).

Infrastructure is the biggest challenge of the new technology.

"When we purchased the first units in '96, we installed five LPG refilling sites - simple 1,000 gallon tanks, a pump, and dispenser," said Swink. "There was a time when we had about 200 active units and were filling some tanks three times a week. Since that time, we have added another tank to each of the three busy sites."

Introducing Propane-Powered F-250/F-350

ROUSH recently announced the availability of the ROUSH Liquid Propane Injection (LPI) Conversion for 2009-2010 Ford F-250 and F-350 equipped with the 5.4L V-8 engine. Orders are being taken now. The new F-250/F-350 version is expected to hit showroom floors in August. 

According to the company, the F-250 or F-350 equipped with ROUSH LPI technology experiences no loss in horsepower, torque, or towing capacity, compared to previous propane conversions. Older technology relied on vapor injection. The ROUSH system, which leaves propane in the liquid state until injection, is 30 percent more powerful than the older technology.

The F-250/F-350 LPI Conversion helps fleets trim operating costs and reduce vehicle emissions. According to ROUSH, compared to gasoline, propane reduces harmful emissions by significant amounts: 

  • 18-percent less greenhouse gases.
  • 20-percent less nitrous oxide.
  • 60-percent less carbon monoxide.
  • Fewer particulate emissions.