Request for Proposals for Life Cycle Cost Analysis of Propane and Electric Forklifts

August 15, 2011

Download Request for Proposals for Life Cycle Cost Analysis of Propane and Electric Forklifts 

General Information

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) is a nonprofit 501(c)(6) trade organization authorized by the Propane Education and Research Act of 1996 (PERA), Public Law 104-284. PERC was created “to enhance consumer and employee safety and training, to provide for research and development of clean and efficient propane utilization equipment, and to inform and educate the public about safety and other issues associated with the use of propane.” This Request for Proposals (RFP) is not subject to any federal or state procurement law or regulation.

A 21-member board of directors appointed by the National Propane Gas Association and the Gas Processors Association governs PERC. Members include propane retail marketers, propane producers, propane transporters, and agricultural cooperatives, as well as representatives of allied service and supply industries.

Project Overview and Objectives

PERC seeks proposals to undertake an in-depth comparative analysis of the life cycle operating costs of propane vs. electric forklifts. This analysis should be based on real world operating cost data from businesses that operate forklifts in different size classes and under different operating conditions that provide a representative sampling of the forklift market. It should also include a hypothetical cost model or cost calculator that reflects real world operating conditions, fuel/energy prices, infrastructure and vehicle costs, space, and relevant labor costs. Focus should be on Class 4 and 5 forklifts; however other larger truck classes may apply.


Propane currently fuels over 90 percent of the Class 4 forklifts and over 70 percent of the Class 5 forklifts used in the US. Several studies have looked at the life cycle operating costs of electric vs. propane forklifts. However these studies have used varying levels and types of base data and have shown mixed results on the cost benefits of propane vs. electric forklifts. The goal of this study is to provide a comprehensive and well supported analysis of the total lifecycle operating costs of propane and electric forklifts.

Proposals to Provide Services Sought and Scope of Work 

PERC wishes to review proposals that will provide a thorough analysis of the life cycle operating costs of propane and electric forklifts.

A winning proposal would include at a minimum the following elements:

Gather extensive and detailed real world operating cost information from actual forklift users in a range of different operating conditions and business applications.

Include all aspects of operating costs including:

Purchase price.

Fuel/energy costs.

Refueling infrastructure costs.

Maintenance and service costs.

Vehicle residual values and depreciation.

Costs associated with refueling logistics, labor, and timing.

Number of forklift units required to maintain workflows given charging/refueling times.

Floor space requirements and related opportunity costs for different recharging/refueling and storage options.

Include data, focusing on Class 4 and 5 forklifts, used in a wide range of different operational settings to provide a representative understanding of common forklift operating conditions. Any additional data on other forklift classes will be helpful.

Develop one or more cost models or cost calculators for key forklifts sizes and applications.

Provide a written summary and a detailed and well supported final report based on real world data that includes a detailed explanation of methodology, real world operating cost data collected, cost models or calculators, and conclusions on the lifecycle operating costs of propane and electric forklifts.


The contractor must demonstrate and describe its ability to anticipate, coordinate, and carry out all aspects of the project. Eligible applicants for this solicitation include product manufacturers or organizations, institutions, universities, companies, or individuals that partner with a manufacturer. Proposals should include information on relevant experience, especially as it relates to propane and electric equipment.

Other Requirements

Responding proposals must include the following specifications.

Statement of the Project

Background information about the project.

Prior projects upon which the proposed project is based or which had goals and objectives similar to those of the proposed project.

Goals, objectives, and anticipated results of the project and planned deliverables.

Identification of essential personnel expected to participate in the project.

Status of essential personnel as employees of the applicant, consultant, or contractor.

Timeline for the Project

Commencement date.

Completion date.

Key project stages and activities.

Dates upon which deliverables will be presented to Council.

Final report due date (not more than 60 days from completion date).

Budget and Statement of Costs

Direct costs, salaries, overhead and subcontractor costs, fees, and expenses.

Statement of how much the applicant is contributing toward the cost of the project in cash, in-kind, and services.

Detailed statement of other funding sources contacted or to be contacted, the expected amount of funding from each, the status of each application for funds, and any conditions placed upon the use of funds.

Budget to be broken down by task.

Evaluation Statement

Description of roles, responsibilities, performance measures, evaluation methodologies, and data sources.


PERC, in its sole discretion, also reserves the right not to award to any contract on the proposals received.

PERC may request additional information from any submitter.

Neither this RFP nor the submission of any proposal creates any contract or obligation on the part of PERC.

Should PERC identify a proposal suitable for award, the submitter will be required to sign a written agreement for the services sought. This contract will be an indefinite quantity contract which will permit PERC to order the successful submitter’s review of as few as one program. The quantity ordered beyond the minimum set forth in any resulting contract shall be at the discretion of PERC.

PERC will not accept any information in any proposal that is designated confidential or proprietary or contains confidential or proprietary information. PERC cannot and will not guarantee that should such information be submitted that it would be maintained as confidential. Should a submitter desire to submit proprietary or confidential information, the submitter should get in touch with PERC in advance to discuss whether and how such information may be effectively submitted.

Additional Information

Proposals will be subject to an objective merit review procedure of PERC’s Engine Fuel Advisory Committee.

Please send all questions regarding this request for proposals and your intentions to bid in writing by email to Jeremy Wishart, project manager, at For copies of the following PERC documents, please visit our website at

Propane Education and Research Act.

Fact sheets.

Press releases.

A conference call for potential respondents will be held to review, discuss and answer any additional questions respondents may have on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 at 2:00 pm eastern time. Please email for conference call details if you intend to participate.

Submitting Proposals

Proposals must be contained in a single digital file and submitted in PDF or Microsoft Word format to They are due at PERC’s office no later than 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Friday, October 28, 2011. A disk may also be mailed to Jeremy Wishart at the following address:

Propane Education & Research Council
1140 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 1075
Washington, DC 20036
202-452-8975 (phone)