Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Butane vehicle conversions increasing in Belize

dual butane and gasoline pickup trucks increasing in Belize


Western Belize is heavily agriculture and industrial manufacturing. Well not heavy by bigger country standards, but for our small population of 300,000 it is heavy. Pickup trucks are steadily converting to dual BUTANE and gasoline operated versions.
A $75 dollar tank of butane will run a 4 cylinder pickup truck to Chetumal, Mexico in the North and back to the Twin Towns. Cost is about $35 round trip to Belize City on the coast for a round trip, I'm told. In gasoline, the cost is about $60 at current prices.
Moses Chuc of Santa Elena Town does the conversion and this involves bolting a butane tank into the back of the pickup truck, carrying load bed. Current conversion costs over in Spanish Lookout, Mennonite area, are about $1500 and so to get the cost of savings, it takes with local driving, roughly two years to amortize the investment. Operating costs are said to be half that of gasoline. Some say that you lose a bit on horsepower, but never having tried it yet. I do not know? If oil goes back up later this year, I will convert one of my two pickup trucks to butane also.
There is a slow conversion trend going on in Western Belize from gasoline and diesel, to butane powered vehicles, for the economy. Another pickup truck owner driving on Butane this morning told me he wouldn't recommend changing a 4 cylinder pickup, but for his 8 cylinder it is cheaper to run. He said, one drawback was that when the time comes for an engine overhaul, you cannot do it, as the head is eaten out using butane.

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