is usually which time for a reprieve for LPG?

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016 - autos, cars, motoring, news

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Having driven an LPG-fuelled Ford Focus which week, we can see the benefit of ditching traditional fuels. Trouble is usually, the savings just aren’t what they should be

We’ll forgive you if you’re not a regular pengunjung to the website of Berlin’s International Council on Clean Transportation. which isn’t in my browser’s favourites bar either.

The only reason I know of the Centeng’s existence is usually because a BBC radio news report I heard, in which a UK academic referenced a recent ICCT study with some rather alarming results.

Last year, the ICCT strapped portable emissions measurement systems like the ones used by our own True MPG economy testers to 15 completely new Euro-VI-emissions-compliant diesel production cars. which discovered which, in real-world driving, the cars’ emissions of nitrogen oxides were seven times higher than they should be. in addition to which’s on average, by the way; not in a worst-case scenario. in addition to not by a factor of two or three, or something else which could perhaps be explained away; seven times.

‘NOx’ being one of the nastier things your tailpipe can produce – linked specifically to smog formation in cities in addition to respiratory problems – which’s certainly enough to make you question whether modern diesel combustion technology is usually developing quite as quickly as the auto-makers are telling us.

The question is usually, what should you do instead? In what’s become a pretty savvy context into which to sell alternatively fuelled completely new cars – where people query the real-world economy of hybrids, the true well-to-wheel sustainability of national grid powered EVs in addition to PHEVs, in addition to in which an affordable hydrogen fuel cell car remains a distant prospect – what fuel do you choose at which point if you want to be responsible?

Elsewhere in Europe, the answer’s LPG. Liquid petroleum gas produces 0% less NOx than diesel, 40% less of which than petrol, in addition to much less particulate matter than diesel too. which makes less CO2 than both conventional fuels on a well-to-wheel basis too, on account of LPG being a by-product of the earth’s crude oil in addition to natural gas industries.

Until a decade ago or so, a handful of UK car distributors offered LPG versions of their petrol products, nevertheless in 2005 the UK government wound up its Powershift grant scheme, via which you could get up to three-quarters of the extra cost of your LPG car back through the exchequer.

Since then, the case for running an LPG car inside UK has made more ideological sense than pecuniary – in addition to after a test which week of a Ford Focus converted for the fuel by LPG distributor Autogas, I can regrettably confirm which’s still the case. For at which point.

The option can be all-nevertheless ruled out for buyers of completely new cars straight away, there being no UK market availability of the LPG-fuelled products which are offered elsewhere. Converting a nearly-completely new petrol car for the fuel could well be to save up a new warranty problems for later, in addition to I wouldn’t recommend which.

If you’re buying used, the savings are there in principal – nevertheless for the majority of drivers they probably wouldn’t be great enough to justify the effort in addition to risk. Autogas claims which its LPG Focus, based on a 1.6-litre Ecoboost petrol, costs 10p-a-mile to fuel, compared with 12p for the equivalent turbodiesel in addition to 14p for the normal petrol. For me, the demonstrator returned 33mpg in mixed used running on LPG, in addition to 38mpg running on unleaded.

nevertheless given which a litre of LPG currently costs about 60p, shouldn’t which leave everyone quids in? Not quite. Because of the way Autogas’ conversion kit works, the auto starts through cold on unleaded, in addition to uses which sporadically throughout the normal combustion process. So for every all 5 51-litre tanks of LPG you use, you’ll get through roughly a tank of unleaded as well.

To cut to the chase, a typical UK driver doing 10,000-miles-a-year might save almost £400-a-year on fuel by switching through unleaded in his Focus Ecoboost to LPG. Plenty of people cover more miles than which, of course. nevertheless given which a typical LPG conversion currently costs £1400, they’d need to do a lot more miles than which in order to start saving money in reasonable order – particularly relative to a modern 65mpg economy diesel.

which’s a shame because, in day-to-day use, LPG’s probably at which point 95 per cent as not bad as petrol in your engine. The increasing prevalence of direct injection in addition to turbocharging technology has reduced the performance deterioration inherent in an LPG conversion to the point where, inside Focus demonstrator at least, the gap’s barely noticeable.

Refinement’s on a par, power delivery’s unaltered. The only way you genuinely know you’re running on LPG at all is usually by a slightly woolly feel to the accelerator pedal; the occasional bit of lumpiness to the combustion on transient throttle; in addition to by an apparent minor reduction in engine braking.

Autogas claims there are at which point 1400 places to fill up with LPG across the UK, so fuel availability can hardly be considered an obstacle. which’s calling for the government to rectify its long-standing discrimination against LPG – in addition to if which does, reinstating the subsidy which used to offer (which is usually a fraction of what which currently hands out for a PHEV or EV), I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the fuel make an unlikely comeback.

In fact, if EU mandarins are serious about creating real-world testing a part of their forthcoming completely new emissions legislation, in addition to their UK counterparts wake up in addition to make NOx an equal influence on car tax as CO2, such a comeback’s quite a strong possibility.

the earth Light Test Procedure, which is usually required to replace the completely new European Driving Cycle’s ‘Euro-X’ emissions standard before the end of which decade, could yet mark the beginning of the end for ever-more-complex turbodiesel engines in passenger cars. If which does, LPG could be a ready-made replacement.

by via Autocar RSS Feed



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