What's the deal with the car?

 
 

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From 2005 our cars are now all running on LPG. From 2005 to 2009 we drove a dual-fuel BMW Z4 before switching to the Toyota Aygo featured here today.

What is the deal with the car?

  • A vehicle that runs on BOTH Petrol and LPG is termed 'dual-fuel'. It starts on Petrol until warm then automatically switches to LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas)
  • With Mileage of about 7,000 per year the reduction in annual fuel costs are around 1000 due to the lower Tax on LPG
  • Annual CO2 savings are 16% over petrol whilst hydrocarbon (soot) emission are down by 40%. NOx emission savings are 80% & Carbon Monoxide emission savings are 35%
  • Installation Costs (+tax) were 2,200. Payback period is 2 years
  • Some Cars qualify for a grant in the UK (as well as exemption from Congestion charging) plus you also get a reduction in your annual Car Tax.
  • Annual Car Tax on the "alternative fuel" Toyota Aygo in 2010 was just 15
  • The Insurance premium is under 200 per year fully comprehensive
  • The Toyota Aygo is rated at 108g/km CO2 but the LPG reduces this to 92g/km
  • Hence the Aygo is cheap to run and yields extremely low emissions

Engine

Not all Cars have as much space under the bonnet as this small car. Hence, if you are considering a dual-fuel installation make sure that you have a bit of space up front. Having said this, the LPG equipment takes up very little space. Most, if not all cars that currently use Petrol can be converted. Even the most sophisticated of luxury cars. It will not increase your Insurance costs. It will not invalidate your Warranty so you can still get your car maintained at your local dealership.

 

Here we see the engine bay after installation of the PRINS LPG equipment. Hidden at the back are the Injectors to the engine. During operation the Car will switch over automatically to LPG from Petrol when it is warm. This doesn't take long. There is no difference in performance - just half price motoring and the comforting thought that you are improving your country's balance of payments whilst pumping out 2.34 tonnes less CO2 per year.

Boot

Autogas requires a pressurised cylinder to hold a supply of LPG in addition to your normal petrol tank. Here we see the boot with the tank in the spare wheel well. There is space for a tank holding 30l gross although you can only fill it up to about 27l. This will yield up to an approx 240 miles of range. In July 2010 you could fill the tank at a motorway service station for about 18. Choose a far cheaper option such as a major Supermarket in the UK (Asda is good) and this cost will drop to about 14 for a full tank. This is really cheap motoring.

 

THIS car obviously has no spare so utilises a pressurised foam can for emergencies. The positioning of the 'donut' tank in the spare wheel well leaves the entire bootspace free. Although the Toyota Aygo is a micro-compact there is space in this boot for one large piece of luggage and a laptop computer bag.

Filler & filling

So, where do you fill the tank? It varies from fit to fit but most cars simply have a filler cap co-located with the petrol cap. This is not possible on all cars and on the Aygo we had it discretely fitted under the rear bumper with all LPG piping running under the car. The LPG flows into the tank via a small hole in the middle of the spare wheel well.

 

How do you know it is full? Well the Autogas pump simply stops pumping - much as with petrol. There is a small addition to your dashboard - a small fuel gauge using small LED's. These are only a rough indicator and drivers familiar with LPG keep an eye on mileage as a better indicators of when to next fill up.

 

This small combined indicator and switch shows how full the gas tank is and allows you to switch over to petrol manually. However, this is rarely necessary. You treat your petrol tank as your "spare" which can actually yield 400 miles of range if you leave it full up.

More Information

  • Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) is a mixture of Propane and Butane. When used as a Vehicle Fuel it is often referred to as "Autogas". The simple chemical make up of the gases ensures that they are clean burning.
  • LPG is produced as a by-product in both the extraction and refining stages of oil production. In the past it has been considered waste and flared off. It is particularly abundant in the North Sea's 'wet' crude oil.
  • Consequently the UK is Europe's largest producer, producing 6.4 million tonnes in 2001. Of this over 3 million tonnes were exported. Only 50 thousand tonnes (7.75%) were used as Autogas. The rest was used for domestic or agricultural heating or in chemical or refinery operations.
 

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Last updated 02/06/16 12:16

 

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