2020 Marks Changes For Autogas Refueling

(December 9, 2019) — Alliance AutoGas notes that big changes are coming for autogas refueling in 2020. For decades there have been a variety of valves available, such as the ACME, which have been used for fueling propane vehicles. However, new NFPA 58 guidelines for next year specify that the propane industry will adopt the K15 connection for all future autogas vehicles reinstated into service, purchased, or converted after Jan. 1, 2020.

Unlike the ACME valve, which requires a threaded connection to the vehicle, the K15 utilizes a much easier quick-connect for refueling. This type of connection dramatically reduces fugitive emissions during the autogas fueling process, making it more environmentally friendly and increasing driver safety.

Fugitive emissions often escape during autogas refueling, but the quick-connect K15 releases 76% less emissions when compared to the ACME connector. Another benefit of the quick-connect K15 is that it offers a nearly identical refueling experience to gasoline or diesel. This familiarity has been proven to increase driver satisfaction with autogas and has shown an increase in gallons pumped.

“We have seen a significant increase in autogas gallons used for fleets that have switched from the ACME to the quick-connect,” said Jessica Johnson, partner and projects liaison at Alliance AutoGas. “It creats a fueling experience that they are used to and is less intimidating because they don’t have to put on protective equipment. Our customers are much more confident in their refueling and can go about business as usual.”

What does this mean for propane fleets using the ACME connection next year? Nothing, unless a new vehicle is received or a vehicle is converted. The NFPA 58 code change is not retroactive to vehicles produced before Jan. 1, 2020. However, when a fleet receives a new propane vehicle or performs a conversion after Jan. 1, 2020, the K15 is a requirement.

This could create problems for existing refueling infrastructure if the ACME valve is used exclusively, however. To help fleets with the transition, adaptors are readily available, although they are not considered a long-term solution. Any existing ACME-equipped propane vehicle can quickly and easily be retrofitted with the K15 fueling valve, which is the preferred solution for fleets because it allows them to benefit from the advancement in propane vehicle refueling, increasing ease of operation and safety.

“The quick-connect K15 is an exciting advancement in the autogas industry,” said David Kennedy, director of autogas design at Alliance AutoGas. “It provides an easier process compared to what was being used previously and is more environmentally friendly.” He adds, “We have had elderly drivers among our Alliance AutoGas customers struggle with aligning the ACME connector and getting it to thread in the past. Having the K15 allows drivers to refuel with greater ease.”

Fleets that are currently operating autogas vehicles should contact their fuel provider to better understand how the new regulation could affect them. Vehicles without the K15 connector risk losing access to public propane stations designed for the 2020 requirement. Quick-connect refueling nozzles, adaptors, and K15 refueling valves are available at local propane equipment distributors.

Questions regarding the quick-connect K15 may be directed to Johnson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Information is also available on the Alliance AutoGas website, allianceautogas.com.

(SOURCE: The Weekly Propane Newsletter, December 2, 2019)