Robert Hefner, the author of The GET: The Grand Energy Transition, believes we should use LPG as a bridge to an EV future. He points out there are eight million vehicles in the world that operate on natural gas—though only 150,000 those are in the USA. Americans have invested nearly four trillion dollars in large cars, SUVs and trucks. Hefner asks whether we seriously intend to throw them away? Of course not, he says, and then he suggests that they should be converted to running on LPG. How difficult is that, you ask? Not much; a day’s work. (I know, my 1998 Jeep Cherokee is now a hybrid, running on gasoline or LPG at the press of a button.) Hefner says we should “retrofit all those vehicles that are now running on gas.”
Today it costs maybe $3,000 to retrofit an ICE engine to dual-use, but Hefner sees future retrofit costs of $1,500, when the number of cars being retrofitted rises.
He states the obvious: that we’d be using existing distribution infrastructure, and that we’d create a window for development of better batteries and EV solutions, while actually reducing emissions. He points out that there’s abundant LPG if we just start using it correctly.
What can I say? I just spent a couple of minutes filling LPG in the tank in my Cherokee, and it actually runs smoother on gas than on gasoline, at half the running cost, with seriously reduced CO2 emissions.
Hefner discussed The GET at the Aspen Institute recently. For the video, click here.