With fuel prices reaching astronomical levels, alternative fuel options are at the top of fleet managers’ agendas. However, the answer may not lie in futuristic technologies or far-fetched fuel developments, but on the UK’s existing forecourts.
Autogas liquefied petroleum gas, or LPG, has been singled out as a viable alternative fuel and is readily available today for motorists to enjoy costs savings as well as environmental benefits.
The European Expert Group on Transport Fuels, established by the European Commission last March, has already stated that Autogas could increase from 3 per cent of the road fuel mix to at least ten per cent by 2020*
The Expert Group’s report, published on 25 January, notes that “LPG is currently the most widely used alternative fuel in Europe” adding that “the core infrastructure is established, with over 27,000 public filling stations”. Given this already existing presence, Autogas is well-placed to act as a bridge to help ease Europe’s transition to a more sustainable transport model.
Autogas Limited is the UK leading forecourt supplier of LPG. Their general manager, Jem Aldridge welcomes this report and says that the benefits of the cleaner fuel speak for themselves, but fleet managers may not be aware of how easy it is to switch to LPG. “Although Autogas is often referred to as an ‘alternative’ fuel, it really should be known as the third grade on the forecourt.
“Advances are being made in electric vehicles, but these remain limiting in terms of range and their ability to travel long distances. For high mileage users LPG is the most viable fuel compared to petrol or diesel.”
Jem goes on to explain how easy it is to specify an LPG fleet. “When considering fuel choices, a simple comparison between LPG, petrol and diesel will reveal significant results. Currently retailing at 76.3 pence per litre*, LPG offers huge savings.
“The environmental benefits are substantial too. Vehicles running on LPG produce far less carbon dioxide and other harmful emissions such as oxides of nitrogen and particulate matter (PM10’s) compared to other road fuels.”
Jem adds: “The initial cost of conversion is quickly recouped in the running cost savings and there is an established network of approved Autogas Installers that can carry out this work. Alternatively Citroën offer a LPG / petrol option of the Berlingo van under their Ready to Run Program and Mazda and Proton cars now offer Petrol / LPG options on some of their ranges.
Autogas is currently available at over 1,400 public access refuelling sites in the UK , with more planned openings this year. To help drivers find their nearest LPG station Autogas offers a free to download ‘Point of Interest’ file for leading satellite navigation systems. It is available online at www.autogasfinder.co.uk. There are also various smart phone apps that direct motorists to their nearest refuelling site.
For more information on how Autogas can benefit your fleet, log on to www.autogas.ltd.uk or call 01527 507 800
Notes to editors
* Figures quoted from the European Expert Group on Transport Fuels in its press release dated 27 January 2011, Autogas to Play a Larger Role in Europe’s Fuel Mix.
* Prices quoted from the AA’s Fuel Price Report, January 2011