Autogas is the common name for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) when it is used as a fuel in internal combustion engines in vehicles. It is today the most accepted alternative fuel in the automotive sector with more than 21 million vehicles operating worldwide.
Global consumption of Autogas has been rising rapidly in recent years, exceeding 23 million tonnes in 2011 – nearly 10mMT, or 60%, up on 2000 levels. There are now more than 21 million Autogas vehicles in use around the world. Yet the use of Autogas is still concentrated in a small number of countries: five countries – Korea, Turkey, Russia, Poland and Italy – together account for more than half of global Autogas consumption today.
The added value of LP Gas as an automotive fuel is that it brings a reduced carbon footprint; generating considerably fewer emissions than other traditional fossil fuels, contributing to the protection of the environment and human health while also mitigating the threat of climate change.
Autogas vehicles have both original equipment manufacturers and conversion offerings in the light & medium duty range (cars, pickup trucks & vans) as well as the bus market.
LPG Autogas brings reliable, low-emission vehicles and equipment to fleets, industry, and the everyday drivers. These innovative vehicles and equipment can provide public transportation, expedite manufacturing operations, and serve as personal vehicles.
Nearly all road vehicles can convert to LPG fuelling and most vehicles running on Autogas can retain a bi-fuel system; the option to switch back to petrol/diesel from LPG at the flick of a switch is always there if it is required. Autogas vehicle conversions bring the benefits of clean-burning propane to trucks, vans, buses, and other vehicles that were originally designed to operate on gasoline or diesel.
World-renown automobile manufacturers such as General Motors and Ford provide vehicles and fleets with LPG fuel systems. These vehicles use proven 6.0L Vortec V8 engines.
The primary reason why governments in many countries actively encourage the use of Autogas is the environment. Autogas out-performs gasoline and diesel as well as some other alternative fuels in the majority of studies comparing environmental performance that have been conducted around the world. Autogas emissions are especially low with respect to noxious pollutants. With respect to greenhouse-gas emissions, Autogas performs better than gasoline and, according to some studies, outperforms diesel, when emissions are measured on a full fuel-cycle basis and when the LP Gas is sourced mainly from natural gas processing plants – making it the cleaner, greener option.
Some countries promote Autogas for economic reasons too, notably to provide an outlet for surplus indigenous production of LP Gas. Others are aware of the health benefits and also the mitigating impact on building erosion.
Depending on the country, it can be a cheaper alternative to petrol or diesel. Autogas costs may come to around half the price of petrol or diesel, whilst also offering better mileage, meaning significant savings are there to be made on fuel costs. There are also potential benefits such as cheaper road tax, reduced parking rates, reduction in company car taxes, lower fuel duties and even discounts on motoring fees such as the congestion charge in London. This can offer considerable financial savings of up to 40% on existing costs