Autogas - LPG Fuel for Gas Cars
The Advantages of Autogas
Autogas is less expensive than petrol or diesel.
Engine oil and spark plugs need changing less often with LPG, so service costs are reduced.
Octane ratings over 100 allows for higher compression ratios, which can increase power output.
What is an LPG car?
LPG cars run on LPG Autogas, with 25 million worldwide.
LPG cars can be OEM single fuel models or dual fuel LPG conversions that run on either LPG or petrol.
Most Autogas vehicles are after-market conversions, usually converted shortly after the original vehicle purchase.
There are four types of LPG conversion systems:
1. Converter-and-mixer systems
2. Vapour phase injection (VPI)
3. Liquid phase injection (LPI)
4. Liquid phase direct injection (LPDI)
Environmental Benefits of Autogas
Using Autogas creates appreciably less carbon dioxide (CO2) than unleaded petrol.
CO2 is the primary greenhouse gas causing long term climate change.
When examined from a “Well to Wheel” perspective, the CO2 benefit is even greater.
This includes emissions associated with the processing and transportation, as well as use.
Diesel CO2 emissions are 29.2% higher than LPG whilst petrol is 26.8% higher than LPG.
LPG cars also produce 95% less ozone and smog causing NOx than diesel engines.
The dirty black smoke that we see coming from diesel vehicles is fine particulate matter.
These fine particles may be deeply inhaled into the lung and carry with them a collection of attached hazardous compounds.
Experts at the World Health Organisation (WHO) say diesel engine exhaust fumes are carcinogenic.
One of the key environmental advantages of Autogas over diesel, as well as petrol, is the near-absence of particulate matter (PM) emissions.
7 LPG Conversions Myths
There are a number of Autogas fallacies that persist because of a lack of information.
To help clear the air, we would like to share some facts with you so you can make your own evaluation.
Sometimes tall tales get told so many times that people start accepting them as facts.
The problem can also come from very out-of-date information that may have, at one time, been factual but is no longer true.
This is the case with the myths surrounding LPG conversions and autogas.
These are the 7 most common myths:
1. No longer saves you money
2. Loss of performance
3. Voids your warranty
4. LPG is less safe than petrol
5. Loss of boot space
6. LPG is hard to find
7. LPG cars are hard to fill
LPG Still Saves You Money
Fuel consumption for LPG is greater than petrol but it is more than offset by a much lower price.
The reason for the difference in consumption is the difference in energy content.
For example, unleaded E10 has 31.2Mj/L while Autogas has 26.8Mj/L. This equates to only about a 14% difference.
Some people make wild claims regarding the comparative fuel consumption of LPG versus petrol powered vehicles.
The only way to compare accurately is using the identical make, model, year, engine and transmission, with the only difference being the fuel.
This removes all of the other variables including the human factor, like a light or heavy foot.
We can do this using the info from the Green Vehicle Guide government website.
Selecting the Ford Falcon Petrol vs Ford Falcon LPG, we can compare fuel consumption data for identical vehicles.
This fuel consumption data is available for all vehicles sold in Australia.
The numbers in these otherwise duplicate vehicles are 9.9L/100km for Petrol and 12.3L/100km for LPG.
So, petrol consumption is only about 20% less in comparison to LPG.
This means breakeven is when the price of LPG is 20% less than petrol.
For example, if petrol is $1.50, breakeven for LPG is $1.20.
However, LPG pricing is much lower than that, currently at around $0.75 in Sydney, so about 50% less.
Try inputting your own numbers in this autogas savings calculator:
No Loss of Performance
Many years ago, when LPG conversions were in their infancy, the loss of performance issue had some basis in fact. However, it is no longer true.
A vehicle with a state-of-the-art liquid LPG system produces at least the same amount of power when running on LPG, as compared with running on petrol.
Liquid injection LPG systems are the latest generation in automotive LPG fuel system technology.
You get a substantial fuel savings with LPG Autogas, combined with equal engine performance, impeccable drive-ability and lower tailpipe emissions.
LPG Conversions Do Not Void Your Warranty
Your new car warranty remains intact unless the LPG conversion directly causes the problem.
Given the long track record of LPG conversions and ever improving technology, it would be rare that the conversion would ever cause a problem that would affect your warranty.
LPG systems are so reliable that more than 1 million LPG systems have been factory fitted by automobile manufacturers around the world.
Ford chose a Liquid Phase Injection system for their factory equipped LPG Falcon EcoLPi.
Holden elected to go with a Sequential Vapour Gas Injection System for the LPG Ecoline Commodore.
Both come with full factory warranties.
The same liquid and vapour technologies are also available for aftermarket conversions.
The manufacturers of conversion systems (some call them kits) are so confident that they offer extended warranties on their LPG systems.
For example, Orbital Autogas Systems offers a 3 year / 150,000 km warranty, depending on the model.
Sprint Gas offers a 3 years / 100,000km warranty on late model vehicles.
LPG is Just as Safe as Petrol
LPG has been used safely in Australian vehicles for decades.
Australian LPG fuel systems must meet the strict requirements of the Australian Standard AS1425, which covers specifications, installation and maintenance.
LPG systems are fitted with a myriad of safety devices and design considerations.
Pressure relief valves, automatic shut-off systems, back check valves, and heavy gauge steel tanks are amongst the safety features employed.
The litmus test for safety is the cost of insurance.
It costs no more to insure an LPG car than a petrol car.
If LPG cars were more dangerous, you can bet the insurance companies would be charging more to insure them.
No Big Tank in the Boot
The days of the LPG tank taking over your boot are gone.
There are new tank innovations that preserve your boot space for important things, like golf clubs and luggage!
The new toroidal LPG tanks are doughnut shaped and typically are fitted within the spare wheel well.
They come in various sizes to fit just about any car, ute or SUV.
They are also available in versions suitable for either liquid or vapour injection systems.
Toroidal tanks come in both interior and exterior mounted styles.
The spare is typically replaced by a small emergency inflation kit.
LPG Autogas is Easy to Find
Autogas being hard to find may be the biggest myth of all.
There are over 3,000 Autogas outlets in Australia. In fact, we have one of the most extensive autogas distribution networks in the world.
LPG Cars Are Easy to Fill
While the nozzle and procedure for filling an autogas tank are different, it is not difficult. Virtually anyone can do it.
Here is a ‘how to’ video to show you how easy it is:
Video courtesy of Ford Australia
UNIGAS - Australia's Autogas Supplier
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