It is “patently absurd” that the UK hasn’t embraced liquefied petroleum gas as a car fuel with the same enthusiasm as other nations, say champions for LPG.
The call for greater recognition of LPG’s potential benefits came as Autogas, one of the UK’s leading suppliers, announced a major rebranding exercise aimed at highlighting customer awareness of the fuel. Since its introduction 15 years ago, the take-up of LPG by motorists has hit a plateau of just over 150,000 users.
The fuel’s supporters say its benefits are manifold; there is a cost saving for the customer because LPG attracts a lower Government fuel duty than petrol or diesel, meaning it can be sold for around 60p per litre.
With UK cities under growing pressure to tackle air pollution – in 2014, the UK faced a fine of £300m from the EU for failing to meet air pollution targets – LPG evangelists point out that CO2 emissions from the fuel are on average ten per cent lower than a standard petrol-powered car.
NOx emissions from LPG are 80 per cent less than from diesel, while there are up to 98 per cent fewer harmful particulates in LPG than petrol or diesel.
However, those who are driving the latest LPG push admit that they face some significant challenges.
Awareness remains extremely low among UK customers, no car manufacturers currently offer factory-fit LPG systems in their right-hand-drive vehicles and the Government has its might behind the nascent market for electric cars and plug-in hybrids, offering financial incentives for such vehicles when none are in place for LPG-fuelled cars.