Australia Needs a Good Small LPG Powered Car
There is an old parable about two shoe salesmen from around the end of the 19th century.
In the story, the two salesmen travel to Africa...
The first salesman wires back to his company: “This trip is a waste of time. Nobody here wears shoes.”
On the other hand, the second salesman sends a completely different wire to his company: “Send over a full boat load of shoes. They all need them!”
This is the perfect allegory for Australia and its need for an affordable LPG auto import.
Lack of Choices
Currently, Australian consumers have only two full sized LPG Autogas powered OEM cars to choose from.
While these LPG cars, by Ford and Holden, are both exceptional vehicles, the majority of the car buying public is looking to purchase a smaller car.
Unfortunately, there are no small OEM LPG cars currently available in Australia.
Case Study - My Wife
My wife is the perfect example.
About 18 months ago we went new car shopping for her.
We both wanted to get an LPG powered car but my wife didn’t want to be driving a full size car.
We ended up having to settle for something else.
No Lack of Choice in Other Countries
There are any number of well-known car manufacturers around the world, especially in Europe and Asia, who manufacture an extensive range of smaller LPG powered vehicles.
This includes General Motors affiliates.
However, the fact that there are currently no sales for a small LPG powered car in Australia is making these manufacturers a bit like the first shoe salesman.
Nobody wants to be the first one to give it a go.
In fairness, it is a little more complicated than just shipping a boat load of shoes.
There is an investment to be made in acquiring Australian approvals before any model can be sold here.
A company would also need to invest additional monies in things like market research, product marketing, spare parts, training, etc.
However, Australia’s LPG Autogas infrastructure is well established.
There are more than 3,200 outlets across Australia and nearly half of the filling stations are in regional or rural areas.
Why We Need an Affordable LPG Car
There are a number of reasons why Australia needs a smaller 4-cylinder LPG fuelled car.
First and foremost, it would provide Australians with an economical means of transportation.
It is no coincidence that the taxi industry was an early adopter of LPG powered cars, as they are acutely sensitive to the cost of running their vehicles.
LPG becomes even more economical when it is combined with a 4-cylinder engine in a smaller car.
Hybrid vehicles also address this need but Australians have been hesitant to embrace hybrids.
Whether it’s because we are less comfortable with the more complicated technology or averse to the eventual cost of replacing an expensive battery set, hybrids have just never really taken off in Australia.
The initial purchase price may also be an issue.
Australia is fully self-sufficient in LPG.
Autogas is the only current vehicle fuel that does not require the net importation of product.
This makes LPG powered cars uniquely protected from overseas supply disruptions.
LPG emits less carbon dioxide than petrol, and less nitrogen oxide and fewer particulates than diesel.
LPG offers an immediate reduction of up to 15% in CO2 emissions compared to a petrol-powered vehicle and up to 80% of damaging particulates are eliminated when compared to a diesel engine.
Most remember the catch phrase from the movie Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.”
Overseas car companies need to realise “If you import it, they will buy!”
Comments, questions or feedback?
The information in this article is derived from various sources and is believed to be correct at the time of publication. However, the information may not be error free and may not be applicable in all circumstances.