RAC Cars News


LPG Firm Questions Low uptake Of Product In The UK

By raccars Published

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Autogas, a leading supplier of liquefied petroleum gas in the UK, has embarked on a major rebranding exercise and a public awareness campaign for the benefits of LPG. The firm claims that the UK's poor recognition of the potential advantages of using LPG is 'absurd.'

Liquefied petroleum gas was introduced in the UK 15 years ago. However since then, its usage has plateau-ed at about 150,000 vehicles. Supporters of the fuel claim it is the perfect answer to high fuel prices in the UK, as a special low fuel duty rate means LPG costs only about 60p per litre. From a governmental point of view, LPG is also a potential solution to EU emissions targets, as LPG car CO2 emissions are typically about 10% lower than petrol models.

LPG powered cars give off NOX emissions 80% lower than diesel models, and harmful particulates are 98% lower than from petrol or diesel engines. Given these manifold benefits, why has LPG not yet taken the world by storm.

Well, for a start, the mainstream manufacturers are dragging their feet. There are currently no right hand drive cars supplied with factory fitted LPG systems, so awareness among the UK car buying public is minimal. The government has also neglected LPG, supporting electric and hybrid cars instead, by offering customers excellent financial incentives. No such schemes are available for LPG powered vehicles.

Autogas claims the UK would benefit from an integrated strategy on fuels, to help the country tackle its carbon emissions and air quality problems. While petrol and diesel prices have come down dramatically within the last month, LPG remains significantly cheaper than both traditional fuels.

About 1,400 filling stations sell LPG in the UK and Autogas supplies 215 of these. The firm's rebranding exercise involves the introduction of a new logo and signage, and new, easier to use fuel dispensers at its stations. The company also has an all new website, full of information about LPG benefits, conversion advice and a cost savings calculator. This claims that a dual fuel conversion on an average petrol powered model would cost about £1,200. This should be recouped in fuel cost savings within two years.

For example, by fitting an LPG converter to a Ford Focus 1.6 EcoBoost, drivers could apparently cut the cost of fuel over 80,000 miles from £11,072 to £7,600.

The UK lags behind other nations which have embraced LPG far more enthusiastically, such as Australia, Germany, Spain and Turkey.

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