Propane Outlook Positive with Autogas, Landscape Markets on the Rise

S2G bobtailOK, so I went to Atlanta and the Braves dropped a few. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

The 2013 Southeastern Convention & International Propane Expo in Atlanta last week drew 219 exhibitors and more than 2,800 registered attendees, including yours truly. Highlights included the propane-autogas-fueled S2G bobtail from Freightliner Custom Chassis, and the Roush CleanTech Ford F-650 chassis cab for medium-duty trucks.

And marketers should check out the GallonGrowers Toolkits from the Propane Education & Research Council. Right now there are two toolkits, one for the landscape contracting industry and one for propane autogas markets. They are free to download.MarketOutlook2013-1

PERC also released the 2013 Propane Market Outlook, a strategic guide on the trends, opportunities and challenges facing the industry through 2020. The outlook is from ICF International, the Fairfax, Va.-based research firm.

The outlook presents a realistic view of our market. No doubt, we’ve faced some headwinds with warm winters, and the bust in new housing construction. But there are positive trends. The supply of propane is rising with the increase in the production of natural gas liquids, and that means propane is very competitive with gasoline, diesel fuel and home heating oil.

There is potential for “large growth” in internal combustion engines, meaning more sales around commercial lawn mowers, irrigation engines, and autogas vehicles for fleets, the outlook reports. One part of that is the introduction of propane-powered vehicles like the S2G, and the new trucks and school buses that have been coming out. In the residential space, one opportunity is in targeting existing customers with new applications like the tankless water heaters that are very efficient energy users.

ICF recommends “concerted action by the industry as a whole … investments in new technologies and participation in the national energy policy.”

Did you go to the Southeast Expo? What did you think?

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