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LPG autogas outshines other fuels in European emissions study

Comprehensive study demonstrates significant LPG environmental benefits
UK Government need to do more to promote range of fuels for consumers
Industry calls on car manufacturers to make LPG-ready vehicles available in the UK
Target of 750,000 LPG cars on road by 2024
A comprehensive new vehicle emissions study has demonstrated that Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) delivers significant all round environmental benefits and in terms of pollutants it is much cleaner and significantly outperforms petrol, diesel and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).

The research, testing more than 9,000 cars and vans, showed that LPG scored very highly across key criteria. Of the seven vehicle brands available in the five fuels – petrol, diesel, LPG and CNG, CNG Mono – LPG ranks first in four of the brands, with CNG ranking first twice and diesel ranking first once, whilst petrol fails to rank first in any of the brands.

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In response, the LPG industry is now calling on the UK Government do more to promote the fuel as a readily available alternative which is almost half the price at the pumps. While government has committed to keeping prices for all gaseous fuels substantially lower than petrol and diesel for the next decade, there is now even greater demand for driver incentives, as well as potential, subsidies for car manufacturers.

In December 2013, the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne MP introduced a 10 year duty trajectory for gaseous road fuels, (CNG), Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and LPG. However, whilst the duty differential for CNG and LNG was frozen, the Autumn Statement introduced a duty differential reduction of 1p each year to 2024 only for LPG.

Currently more than 160,000 drivers use LPG converted cars in the UK filling up at 1400 available sites. Despite an established market no car manufacturer is currently offering a new LPG-ready vehicle unlike in Europe where these vehicles are commonly available. The 10-year duty guarantee has proved to be effective in Germany where the Government introduced a similar commitment just four years ago and has seen the number of users rise to more than 500,000 driven in part by readily available factory fit cars.

Linda Gomersall, General Manager of Autogas, the UK’s leading LPG Autogas supplier, said the report was further evidence of the important role LPG had to play as a cost-effective and environmental fuel alternative for consumers.

She added: “The report further underlines the credentials of LPG as a fuel which today is already delivering significant environmental benefits and cost savings at a time when families are feeling the pressure on household budgets. We were pleased that the Government committed to a further 10 years of low tax differential for gaseous fuels but we would call for further support. We strongly believe LPG should be treated exactly the same as CNG and LNG in terms of duty differential freeze.

“More fundamentally, we would urge the Government to focus on further incentives for LPG users and to look at other European countries where usage is much more established. For example, in many European countries, cars running on LPG benefit from exemptions or reductions on congestion charges, toll roads as well as free parking. Additionally, there are currently no LPG ready cars available to UK motorists meaning anyone wanting to use the fuel needs to pay for a conversion. However, in Europe nearly 20 vehicle manufacturers are producng LPG ready cars available to drive out the showroom.”

Dr Eric Johnson, author of the report, said: “This is the biggest study of its kind, by a couple orders of magnitude. It shows LPG out-performing diesel, petrol and CNG on a cross-section of environmental criteria.”

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