“Blind as a bat” makes sense, because bats have to use a kind of radar system to get around, right?

Yes and no. Some bats do use echolocation, but they aren’t blind: All bat species have eyes and can see. Our knowledge of history and science is filled with these common misconceptions that are easily proven false.

When choosing new vehicles and perhaps a new fuel for your fleet, using quantifiable facts and figures will make your decisions clear. In this three-part series, we’ve discussed the importance of total cost of ownership (TCO) in comparing vehicles and fuels. To make sure you’re not flying blind, take advantage of available online calculators to measure TCO.

You can find many helpful online TCO calculators, including:

Each of these calculators allows you to input information specific to your situation, like vehicle cost, fuel price per gallon, total lifetime miles, federal incentives and more. The EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator will be helpful if you need to factor environmental and emissions costs into your fleet’s TCO.

The calculators do the work of generating data that can guide your choices. After running the numbers, many fleet operators discover that propane autogas offers lower TCO than conventional fuels like gasoline and diesel and other alternative fuels. In situations where annual miles driven is high and a vehicle’s fuel efficiency is low, propane autogas will provide an even quicker return on investment for that vehicle.

Choosing vehicles and fuels isn’t simple. We are always happy to answer any questions you have on alternative fuels or fleet vehicles; just comment below or send me an email. Or join the conversation here.