Currently reading: UK needs government intervention to drive up LPG vehicle sales
The duty on LPG fuel should be frozen to encourage more motorists to switch, says British firm
2 mins read
11 October 2013

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.


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11 October 2013

Its not the fuel duty that would stop me. Its the lack of availability of new cars with a factory fitted system. Conversions have a certain appeal, but they give you the same confidence a system designed and fitted by the manufacturer.

If larger petrol engined cars came fitted with LPG the effective cost of running them would be less than the small diesel versions of those cars

11 October 2013

Why should they get a tax break. Just because it is cheaper doesn't make it better. its still a fossil fuel with limited reserves and it still has an impact on the environment. Surely the investment and government support should be for finding a non-fossil fuel power source, not electric/battery power as this comes with its own environmental issues from developing and disposing of batteries and electricity is still sourced from fossil fuels. Engines don't need combustion they need compression or high pressure. Surely development of some sort of pneumatic/air pressure based system would be more beneficial to the environment.

11 October 2013

the benefits of converting to the LPG, yet I don't want to shrug the words of the environmental journalists of the year.
If LPG is really so good then why hasn't it been accepted widely in spite of having been around for donkey years?
There must be something that's holding this fuel back. What are the pros and cons? Anyone could shed light?
At half or less than half the price of petrol and diesel what is holding back LPG from becoming the wonder fuel?

11 October 2013

One of my friends was powering his company fleet on LPG bsck in 1973 and the financial benefits were as much as 50% lower fuel costs with a small performance penalty.

Today, the entire Taxi fleet of Bucharest runs on LPG - reflected in Taxi fares per Kilometer of 26p per kilometer.(= 42 pence per mile).

Are we all stupid?

11 October 2013

LPG gained a foot hold a few years back with quite a few manufacturers, such as Ford and Volvo, offering factory built cars so why did the popularity ebb away?

Is LPG still as cheap relative to unleaded? Are modern engines so much more fuel efficient that LPG loses out?

11 October 2013

In 2012 there were 8677 UK petrol stations (Daily Mail, 18/01/13). If there are 1400 LPG pumps in the UK then, on average, you'd have to drive past six non-LPG stations before you found one selling it.

It sound's like a chicken and egg situation to me. LPG providers won't build more pumps due to a lack of demand. Customers won't buy LPG cars because the manufacturers no longer offer them. Manufacturers don't offer them because the LPG infrastructure is currently not strong enough to support their investment. So we are stuck in an impasse; business users - the largest buyers of new cars - are too busy to go out of their way hunting for LPG, so they stick with what they've got.

11 October 2013

I'm based in Australia at the moment, and have in the past run a converted LPG/Petrol vehicle. On the last couple of vehicles I've bought I've actively avoided LPG, as, unless it's set up properly, it can be a nightmare.

Problems include:
-Cold starts: LPG systems often have a pre-heating system for the gas where it runs through a wrap of the coolant pipe to warm it up a bit more. Starting from cold on LPG was a bit hit and miss at times...
-Timing: LPG requires different timing settings to petrol (much the same as 95 and 98RON) If I was to do it in a modern car, I'd run 2 engine management maps, one for petrol and one for LPG and flick between the 2 depending on fuel used.
-System maintenance: there is a little bit more work in terms of looking after them; LPG tanks in Australia have a 10 year life before they need to be re-tested and approved for use again (about $200)

Availability of LPG isn't a problem here in regional Australia; I'm 450km from Sydney or Brisbane, and have at least a couple of LPG stations in town. Very places don't have at least one LPG pump at one of the servo's, what helps is that Coles and Woolies (equivalent to Tesco's/Sainsburys) run petrol stations so they have LPG at most of theirs.

Here there are more new cars coming with FlexFuel (E85) than LPG systems, although LPG is still popular with Ford and Holden buyers due to low adoption of diesel. Ford and Holden are both starting to sort out a liquified gas injection system which will be better than the traditional systems.

What is very interesting is diesel-gas or diesel-lpg systems, where a small amount of LPG is injected into the diesel engine to gain a more complete burn (the LPG helps to burn everything when the diesel fires, resulting in more power)

Lastly, the problem is the size of the tanks; this means that they are best suited to use on something with a separate chassis (there's space alongside chassis rails etc for small tanks) or where the spare tyre can be repositioned to the boot or the back of the car (see Toyota Land Cruiser 95series for example) When some of the cars have twin tanks fitted for certain markets, they result in the ideal location for an LPG tank to be fitted.

11 October 2013

I think the reason it stopped is it came out (when Manufacturers released 1st party kits) when petrol was too cheap. I think it makes a lot of sense now, as it doesnt matter if you cant find a pump, you just run petrol.

I think it kills head gaskets quick, which puts me off buying a 2nd hand one, unless its been well serviced. Lots of taxis in Asia use CNG/LPG dependign on country.

11 October 2013

I don't know... why hasn't LPG taken off if it's all positives? Well there's the price of the installation, the reduction in fuel economy and a yearly service ON TOP of your normal car service. And how much needless fuel do people use just detouring to an LPG garage?

I'm sure it makes sense on some of the older inefficient engines but when you're approaching an average of 60mpg in a modern diesel Focus / Astra sized car, I'd guess the reason is because the overall cost of LPG is more expensive for the average motorist.

12 October 2013

One reason people may not be keen to adopt this tech is what happened with diesel cars. Few cars were powered by diesel 25 years ago but the fuel was comparatively cheap, this encouraged the development of diesel engines for passenger cars. Once the number of diesel cars on the road became significant government increased tax to compensate for lost petrol revenue. The same would happen with LPG so why change from a widely available fuel? Once bitten....


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