The news unveiled by the BBC this week that children are at greater risk from harmful small particles in traffic pollution will have alarmed many motorists. However, the situation could be vastly improved with greater use of LPG technology.
Vehicles running on LPG produce far fewer harmful emissions that contribute to environmental and health problems than traditional road fuels including the microscopic particles, known as PM10s, cited in the study led by Professor Jonathan Grigg at the Centre for Paediatrics at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry.
LPG vehicles emit up to 120 times less PM10 particles than a diesel vehicle (small particle emissions are related to health effects including increased risk of heart and lung disease and problems such as asthma. All figures taken form the European Emissions Testing Programme 2003). Added benefits include 17% less carbon dioxide emissions than petrol and 2% less than diesel, and 120 per cent less NOx than petrol and staggering 2,000 per cent less than diesel.
As reported by the BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8092182.stm), early findings from the study in London show that the lung capacity of 8 and 9 year olds is up to five per cent lower than the national average. This is likely to be caused by the fact that the situation is worst at roadside level – a similar height to young children.
Autogas Development Executive at LPG supplier Calor, Chris Taylor, says replacing petrol and diesel vehicles with LPG-powered alternatives could help reduce the severity of the situation.
He says: “We have always known that Autogas LPG is a viable alternative to petrol and diesel and a much greener fuel. The recent study confirms that PM10 particles are extremely harmful and can lead to respiratory disorders such as asthma in children and more serious conditions in later life.
“The number of LPG vehicles is travelling in the right direction. In 2008 we saw an increase of 36 per cent in the number of LPG conversions carried out year on year. There are now around 155,000 LPG vehicles on the UK’s roads.”
The rise in popularity of LPG Autogas is also due to the cost savings that can be enjoyed. Motorists running LPG vehicles can expect to save up to 40 per cent on fuel costs* and, in many cases, can recover the cost of a conversion in under two years**.
Motorists in and around London can also benefit from up to 100 per cent exemption from the London Congestion Charge and all LPG vehicle owners can expect increased residual vehicle values.
There are now more than 1,400 public access LPG refuelling sites with the majority of these on petrol forecourts. Autogas Limited, a joint venture between Calor and Shell, currently supplies around 220 outlets in the UK. A full list can be found at www.autogas.ltd.uk. In addition, Calor supplies autogas from over 150 outlets through its Calor Centres, Morrisons supermarkets and other independent sites.
For further information on fuel supplies and bulk tank installation, contact Calor on 0800 216 659 or visit www.lpg-vehicles.co.uk.
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Notes to Editors
* Calculations based on fuel costs taken from www.fleetnews.co.uk 11/05/09, consumption figures taken from www.whatcar.co.uk for a 2.0 petrol Vauxhall Insignia Estate and assuming a 20% reduction in fuel consumption for LPG. Calculation assumes conversion fee of £1,800 including VAT with an annual mileage of 20,000 miles. Payback period equates to 23.34 months.
** Savings are based on official combined consumption figures published on www.renault.co.uk for 2.0 16V Laguna Sport Tourer assuming a 20% reduction for LPG. National average fuel prices taken from http://www.petrolprices.com/ and a typical onsite bulk LPG price of 45.6p per litre including duty and VAT (Prices as at 09 April 2009). In order to calculate potential fuel savings, Autogas has made a savings calculator available on its web site: www.autogas.ltd.uk.