Gas industry calls for more support to improve air quality

With our near neighbors in the UK being dragged before the European Commission over air quality standards, the focus is really coming on car makers and fuel suppliers to start making vehicles that produce fewer harmful pollutants
. France is taking the lead on this, proposing a diesel-engine ban in the city centre of Paris from 2020 and encouraging more and more people to buy zero-emission electric cars. There is a potentially simpler solution though, and one that is far more familiar to us – Liquified Petroleum Gas, or LPG.
Asthma sufferers in particular could breathe a sigh of relief if Government and car manufacturers provided further support for LPG vehicles according to Autogas Limited.
The challenge comes ahead of World Asthma Day (Tuesday 5th May) following alarming reports that air pollution in the UK has reached its maximum level rating of ‘10’ in recent weeks bringing misery and breathing problems for asthma sufferers.
Poor air quality is responsible for thousands of deaths across Europe each year and extensive pan-European studies have revealed a correlation between traffic congestion in urban areas and a higher incidence of respiratory conditions, including asthma. Greater support for LPG vehicles, it is claimed, could significantly improve air quality.
Autogas Limited General Manager, Linda Gomersall, said: “These alarming reports show that immediate action is needed from the Government and car makers to tackle rising levels of air pollution and help the lives of asthma sufferers. LPG is a proven, readily available fuel source that could instantly help improve the lives of millions of people, if only further support was directed to the availability of gas powered cars.”
According to Autogas, cars driving on LPG emit 80 percent fewer NOx emissions than diesel and significantly lower levels of harmful particulates which are a primary contributory factor to poor air quality. Indeed, according to the LPG Association, it takes 20 LPG vehicles to emit similar levels of NOx as one diesel vehicle. Furthermore, according to the European Commission, Co2 emissions from production-to-tailpipe of LPG vehicles are about 27 percent lower than those of petrol.
A ComRes poll conducted on behalf of Autogas found that more than a third of households would consider driving an LPG powered car. However, most are unable to do so as no vehicle manufacturers currently offer LPG-ready models directly from their showrooms, unlike mainland Europe where drivers can choose from a host of vehicles from the 17 manufacturers who all offer an LPG option.
“Many vehicle manufactures already produce LPG powered cars, they simply don’t offer them,” adds Gomersall. “We’d encourage the Government to work with the industry to change this situation so that drivers have the choice to buy a cleaner LPG variant.”

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