LPG autogas is the most widely available environmentally-friendly alternative fuel in the UK. Most petrol engines can be converted to LPG and there are currently around 21 million vehicles worldwide running on LPG with over 10 million in Europe and more than 100,000 in the UK.
LPG has been recognised as a low-emission vehicle fuel for decades and its great performance against fuels such as diesel are well-documented*. Evidence of the vital role that LPG can play in improving urban air quality has been growing year-on-year*.
Vehicles, especially those heavily used in inner cities such as taxis and vans, can be converted quickly to deliver much lower levels of tailpipe nitrous oxide (NOx) and Particulate Matter (PM) emissions compared to diesel, helping to cut pollution in our inner cities and, with 20% reduction in CO2 compared with petrol, contributing towards the UK's carbon reduction targets.
Black cabs converted from diesel to run on LPG have recorded 80% reduction in NOx and 99% reduction in particulate matter. This solution has recently been pioneered by Birmingham City Council with the support of the Department for Transport (DfT) through its NOx Reduction Champion project.
In 2016 the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee's (EFRA) included LPG as part of a range of alternative fuel options in its report on Air Quality, which calls for new clean air zones in dozens of English towns and cities to cut the risk of cardiac, respiratory and other diseases caused by polluted air and aims to prevent up to 50,000 people a year from dying early from air-pollution-related illnesses.
The LPG industry is also exploring innovative solutions to reduce emissions from HGVs using an Electric Truck with a range extender engine running solely on LPG.
It is also developing opportunities for bio-LPG (bio-propane). Created from renewable sources, bio-LPG is a waste product of bio-diesel production and will act as a ‘drop-in fuel' for existing infrastructure and conversions due to its chemical compatibility to conventional LPG.
* Please find below reports as referred to above:
The future of LPG and its use as an automotive fuel over the next 35 years April 2015
LPG Autogas Blueprint: A low carbon alternative fuel for today
The Potential Emissions Savings of LPG in Transport
Fleet operators and drivers of cars, vans and taxis save money each year by switching to LPG as it is much cheaper at the pump and is subject to lower fuel duties. Although the miles per gallon when running on LPG is usually around 20% less than petrol, because it is so much cheaper to buy (typically 30-40%), significant savings in fuel costs can be made. See how much money you can save by using our Savings Calculator.
Drivers can easily and cost-effectively convert their vehicles to run on LPG at any of the around 100 UKLPG Approved Autogas Installers throughout the UK.
In addition to providing details of approved autogas installers, Liquid Gas UK maintains the UKLPG Vehicle Register of vehicles converted in the UK. If your car has been converted to LPG, at the time of conversion the installer will place the vehicle on the UKLPG Vehicle Register which is used by insurance companies and consumers to verify that the conversion meets sfety and reduced emission standards. Additionally a Registration Receipt will be issued by the installer.
Most petrol engines can be converted by the addition of a second LPG fuel system. This means that the vehicle will continue to run on petrol, giving the driver the freedom to choose which fuel powers the engine at a given time. The LPG tank can be fitted in the spare wheel well or in some cases below the vehicle so that you don't lose any boot space.
Filling up is just as easy as petrol and there are more than 1,000 refuelling sites in the UK, most on petrol forecourts and many available 24/7.
Insurance for LPG vehicles is offered by all major insurance companies.
For more information, please visit our consumer website drivelpg.co.uk.
The trade association for the LPG and bioLPG industry in the UK