The number of vehicles on the UK’s roads is set to rise this summer as many holidaymakers opt to stay in the UK instead of venturing abroad. However the price of petrol continues to rise making more people consider switching to LPG.
Chris Taylor, Autogas development executive at LPG supplier Calor, explains: “The strength of the Euro and the favourable weather forecast for August have influenced our decision to stay in the UK, but the credit crunch seems to be the main reason we are choosing to holiday closer to home.
“Whilst a UK break is considered a cheaper option than travelling abroad, the cost of petrol and diesel is already well over £1.00 per litre and set to increase further through the summer. meaning getting to our destination may not be as cheap as we hope. However, Midlands motorists could be saving even more money on their holiday this year by converting to LPG.”
Take, for example, a journey from Birmingham to Brighton. The cost of travelling the 180 mile journey could be up to 37 per cent less expensive in an LPG powered vehicle(1).
In a petrol-fuelled Vauxhall Insignia 2.0l estate, the return journey would cost an average of £46.34 whereas in a similar LPG powered vehicle, the cost of fuel could be as low as £28.66.
More and more people are now realising the benefits of LPG which, in addition to reduced fuel costs, also include lower CO2 and NOx emissions and lower emissions of harmful PM10 particles(2), as well as up to 100% exemption from the London congestion charge and increased residual values.
In 2008, the number of LPG conversions carried out by LPGA Approved Installers rose by 36 per cent from 2007 - the highest number of conversions in five years. The total number of LPG vehicles on the UK’s roads now stands at around 155,000.
Chris adds: “LPG is by far the most widely available alternative fuel available in the UK. Motorists running LPG vehicles can save up to 40 per cent on fuel costs(3) and, in many cases, can recover the cost of a conversion in under two years(4).
“Given the rise in popularity of LPG, the number of refuelling sites is also increasing. There are now more than 1,400 public access 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 http://www.autogas.ltd.uk/. In addition, Calor supplies autogas from over 150 outlets through its Calor Centres, Morrisons supermarkets and other independent sites. A full list of all sites supplied by Calor can be found at http://www.lpg-vehicles.co.uk/ .
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NOTES TO EDITORS
1 Costs calculated for Vauxhall Insignia 2.0l estate using average combined mpg figures quoted by manufacturer on http://www.vauxhall.co.uk/ assuming a reduction of 20% for LPG and fuel prices taken from http://www.fleetnews.co.uk/ as of 21 July 2009.
2 LPG vehicles produce 17% less carbon dioxide than petrol and 2% less than diesel, 120 per cent less NOx than petrol and staggering 2,000 per cent less than diesel. In terms of small particle emissions (PM10) one LPG vehicle will emit up to 120 times less 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
3 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 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: http://www.autogas.ltd.uk/.
4 Calculations based on fuel costs taken from http://www.fleetnews.co.uk/ 11/05/09, consumption figures taken from http://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.
The following LPG powered vehicles are available for road testing:
Saab 93 saloon Linear SE 1.8 manual
Saab 93 estate Linear 1.8 manual
Renault Laguna Expression Sport Tourer 2.0 manual
Vauxhall Astra 1.4 sxi estate manual
Vauxhall Astra 1.4 sxi 5 door hatch
Renault Megane Sport 2.0 manual 225 5 door hatch
Vauxhall Insignia 1.8 Exclusive 5 door Hatch
Honda Civic Type R