Vehicle Propane Conversion Kits

vehicle propane conversion kit A question often heard is: Is vehicle propane conversion safe to use? The answer is that propane use in vehicles is very safe as long as you don’t have any leaks. The design of propane tanks is such that they crack and release the propane gas in case of an impact. They are designed to avoid a blow up and the walls of the vehicular propane tanks are also much thicker than gasoline tanks and can withstand extreme pressure and shock.

A complete vehicle propane conversion kit includes the fuel controller, valves, actuators, electronics, and the software needed to convert a vehicle to propane operation. There are two types of conversion kits on the market. The first one is an “Open Loop System”. This system does not control electronics and no feedback is provided to the controller on how well it is performing. The controller uses prior calibrations to determine what to do. The second one is the “Closed Loop System”. This system has an electronic sensor that provides continuous feedback to the fuel controller on how well it is performing, thereby "closing the feedback loop." Closed-loop conversion kits are generally more expensive than open-loop kits.

With few modifications to the engine, virtually any gasoline engine can be converted to run on liquid propane gas. Vehicles can be equipped to operate on propane only (dedicated conversion) or to switch between propane and gasoline (dual-fuel conversion). Propane tanks are designed to fit in the trunk of the car.

When considering a vehicle propane conversion kit, it is important to estimate the payback on your investment. This depends on the how much you use your car, the existing fuel economy of the car, the cost of the conversion kit, and maybe what the resale value of the car will be after the conversion. You can expect to pay anywhere between $1,500 and $2,500 for a conversion kit. This includes the installation.

You have to realize that the heavy propane tank will add some weight to your car, and thereby adding a little to the fuel consumption. However, you will recover that cost over time, as you will save up to 30% on the cost of fuel. Also, many states offer tax incentives to encourage the use of environment friendly fuels. This will reduce the cost of operating a liquid propane gas-powered vehicle even more.

Most manufacturers of vehicle propane conversion kits provide warranties, and some states have laws requiring that warranties have to accompany the sale of conversion kits. Make sure you check carefully what type of warranty is offered, and what it covers, before deciding on what propane conversion kit you will buy.

Vehicle Propane Conversion Kit Resources

Propane Education & Research Council

Lithium Element Critical to Electric Car

lithium ion battery element The element of the lithium ion battery is the technology that will shape the future of the electric car in terms of distance performance and we are just at the beginning stages of what’s possible.  Lithium is the lightest of all the metals and often used in heat transfer applications, as an alloying agent agent and is often added to glasses and ceramics.  The high electrochemical potential makes useful for in batteries.

Nissan just announced they will build a factory with NEC to make the lithium batteries for use in electric cars.  The new battery they are developing is expected to be half the size of a nickel hydride battery while having twice the power, but lithium can be unstable so there are safety concerns that need to be worked out.

In the WSJ, head of Nissan research said that by 2015, lithium ion batteries will increase the range of electric vehicles to 250 miles on one charge.  Current lithium batteries only offer a range of a quarter of that but about every two years those ranges are expected to nearly double.. ah there’s the ‘ol Murphy’s Law kicking in again!

Toyota has announced a partnership of its own to develop the battery with Matsushita Elecetrical and the battery is expected to power the first plug in hybrid Toyota in 2010.

Solar Powered Electric Car Kit

Ever thought about building your own electric powered car that runs entirely on the power of the sun?  It’s the ultimate clean transportation solution and I’ve been curious about it myself so did a bit of digging around. 

One company I found called SUNN EV offers a do it yourself kit with the total cost of components costing around $5K and has around a 30 mile range.  Of course, it’s no speed demon topping out at around 25mph.  The car was designed by Art Haines with the help of high school students in Maine.  Very cool!

This is one of the few solar electric power car kits I’ve been able to find.. check it out!  Good luck with the business Art!

Here’s a pic of the pickup:

electric powered car solar

A nice video on YouTube as well:

The latest on electric powered cars, batteries and kits.