Availability of Propane EFI Mower Engine / Conversion Kits?

Discussion in 'Alternative Fuel Forum' started by The Swamp Fox, Sep 7, 2019.

Tags:
  1. The Swamp Fox

    The Swamp Fox LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    I'm currently in the process of planning my initial equipment roster for a part-time solo lawn maintenance operation. Two of my primary goals are to streamline overhead and operational costs as far as possible via equipment efficiencies and to operate my business in an eco-friendly fashion.

    With this in mind, I'm very interested in the idea of my primary mower being powered by propane. Due to the local availability of propane at bulk fill prices, propane offers me a significant cost savings over gasoline, and the environmental benefits go without saying.

    I'm also very interested in the 25% or so fuel savings available via EFI technology. Until recently, I was under the impression that EFI was only available in gasoline-powered engines. But after stumbling across the Kohler Command Pro Propane EFI engine which was released in fall of 2012, I realized otherwise.

    I thought perhaps this new Propane EFI engine would be the ultimate power solution for my new fleet, as it would enable me to combine the operational cost savings of propane with the fuel efficiency of EFI. But from what I have gathered, propane EFI engines are currently only available on one or two ZRT models:
    These are both larger than my desired deck size of 52", and I have yet to find an EFI Propane engine available in a stand-on ZRT, my desired configuration.

    I've spoken with Jim Coker at Propane Power Systems, the company which furnishes EPA-approved propane conversion kits for B&S and Vanguard engines. He informed me that no propane conversion kits were currently offered for EFI engines.

    Are there any additional mower make/models available with propane EFI engines? What about EPA-approved conversion kits compatible with EFI gasoline engines??
     
  2. Love the Green Biz

    Love the Green Biz LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,844

    While researching don't overlook going electric on your hand held tools.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    The Swamp Fox

    The Swamp Fox LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    HA! You are on-point with that one — I'm in the final stages of an operational cost comparison with gasoline vs. cordless for handhelds, and it looks like cordless will win out. I'm excited about getting away from gas entirely.

    Evaluating different brands and battery technologies at the moment. Biggest challenge will be deciding whether to go battery-heavy, charge at specific customer properties, or carry a portable charging solution in the truck.
     
  4. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 16,119

    BTW I got a big Briggs with propane and the oil hardly looks used. The other Briggs is dark as usual.
     
    The Swamp Fox likes this.
  5. OP
    OP
    The Swamp Fox

    The Swamp Fox LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    That jives with much of the feedback I've been privy to from others regarding engines running much cleaner on propane. Just another on a growing list of reasons to make the switch!
     
  6. paulsgrass

    paulsgrass LawnSite Member
    Messages: 245


    Customer will love you. Plug your chargers on their property and they pay the bill. Got to love smart people.
     
    dieselss likes this.
  7. Love the Green Biz

    Love the Green Biz LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,844

    Best bet-though more expensive-is having a charging rack set up on the truck with at least 50% more charged bats than you will need in a typical day. Plug it in each night and only charge those that need it-rotate bats throughout your day as well. If you have an enclosed trailer the charging rack will take up less space than all those gas cans when wall mounted.

    Solar panels on your trailer are an option but this is expensive and provides less than you would think.

    Even though you are using fossil fuel for your mowers you still have an advertising edge with using electric instead of two cycle. People everywhere are getting more vocal about gas blowers and trimmers.

    Big bonus-instant starts with no gas mixing. You will certainly smell better at the end of the day.
     
    The Swamp Fox likes this.
  8. OP
    OP
    The Swamp Fox

    The Swamp Fox LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    I would never do such a thing without explicit customer permission — hence the use of the term "specific customer properties".

    I've read multiple accounts of LCO clients who place a premium on eco-friendly business practices being more than willing to help out an eco-friendly business in this way — whether incentivized or not — although I would certainly consider charging at customer properties a solution of last resort.

    For what it's worth, my cost to charge a 2.5Ah—7.5Ah battery from empty ranges from all of $.022 to $.051.
     
  9. Love the Green Biz

    Love the Green Biz LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,844

    Over time that will add up vs. gas/oil expense. Also electric units have much less maintenance over time and less parts to replace.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    The Swamp Fox

    The Swamp Fox LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    From what I've seen, the potential cost savings are highly contingent on the battery inventory needed and the amount of charge cycles you can get out of said batteries before they require replacement.

    My calculations indicate savings are still there, but the greater benefits may well be the simplicity of operation and reduced maintenance. That said, the potential savings available from operating my primary mower on propane rather than gasoline makes the operational savings from cordless handheld equipment pale in comparison.

    Anyone have input on the availability of propane conversion kits for EFI gasoline engines, or dedicated propane EFI mower engines?
     

Share This Page