British company Autogas is calling for the government to freeze the duty on environmentally friendly liquefied petroleum gas.
The firm sees the move as being the first stage in an attempt to make the fuel more popular with British motorists. Thanks to the current tax break, a litre of LPG is currently half the price of a litre of petrol.
Autogas said if the UK followed Germany’s example by fixing the fuel duty rate for a number of years, big strides could be made in the adoption of LPG in the UK. In Turkey, 20 per cent of vehicles are powered by LPG; in Poland the figure is 10 per cent.
Only one per cent of cars in Germany currently run on LPG, but the government has said it will fix the duty on the fuel for five years to encourage a switch. LPG’s biggest advantage is a huge reduction in tailpipe pollution, which will help the country to meet EU rules on urban air quality.
Autogas — a joint venture between Shell and Calor — said LPG is an immediate and cost-effective way of not only reducing CO2 emissions per car but also slashing tailpipe pollution.
Although 1251 LPG-compatible models are offered in EU markets, there is currently only one new LPG-equipped vehicle on sale - the Proton GEN-2 Ecologic - in showrooms in the UK, even though the UK has 1400 LPG pumps.
Speaking at the recent World LPG Gas Forum in London, Eric Johnson of Atlantic Consulting said like-for-like tests with LPG-powered cars showed they emit 11 per cent less CO2 than petrol-powered models
In terms of local pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, LPG emits less than 10 per cent of the amount that a diesel-powered car does, while LPG particulate emissions are too low to measure and substantially better than demanded by Euro 6 rules.