Autogas on the rise as world’s preferred alternative fuel
Road travel remains an essential feature of the world’s transportation mix, and is of tremendous importance to the many commuters who use this mode of transport. Autogas is the most commonly used and widely accepted alternative to conventional oil-based transport fuels, petrol and diesel due to the impressive environmental benefits it offers and its practical and cost advantages. Autogas is the third most popular automotive fuel in the world, with approximately 23 million vehicles in use around the world and over 57,000 refuelling sites.
Autogas is the most accessible alternative fuel and driving an Autogas vehicle is safe, easy and in several countries, almost 50% cheaper than driving a petrol vehicle. Autogas also has an octane rating that is between 90 and 110.
The use of Autogas is extremely popular in several countries and regions around the world including the European Union, Turkey, Australia, South Korea, Hong Kong, India, Croatia, Lithuania, the Philippines, Macedonia and Serbia with several of these countries having well-developed Autogas markets.
Turkey has the highest percentage of Autogas vehicles in the world. Some 37% of passenger cars run on Autogas, and Autogas consumption now exceeds petrol consumption. In Australia, there are over 615,000 Autogas-powered cars and is especially popular with taxis. In Hong Kong, all taxicabs rely on Autogas while many public light buses also rely on Autogas.
In England, Queen Elizabeth II converted her vehicle fleet to Autogas, including her high fuel consuming Rolls-Royce, while in the USA President Barrack Obama has issued a presidential memorandum that all federal car fleets must buy only 100% alternative fuel vehicles by the end of 2015. Currently in several states in the USA school buses, taxicabs and sheriff and police cars have already switched over to Autogas.
Autogas is also significantly better for vehicle engines and oil and filter life can be doubled as Autogas leaves fewer deposits in the combustion process than petrol or diesel, reducing the chances of oil contamination. Cylinder and piston wear is reduced as Autogas mixes better with air, as it enters the chamber as a gas, as opposed to diesel and petrol, which enter as a liquid.
Given that alternative, cleaner automotive fuels have a key role to play in addressing the worsening environmental problems caused by the rising consumption of road transportation fuels, Autogas used as an automotive fuel is rapidly establishing itself in many countries as by far the most important of these fuels. The strong case for Autogas as an environmentally friendly fuel rests on the fact that noxious emissions from Autogas are among the lowest of all automotive fuels.
It has been proved that driving on Autogas leads to a significant reduction in CO2 emissions compared to a petrol vehicle while Autogas emits almost no black carbon, a pollutant which is also the second biggest contributor to climate change. Autogas fuelled cars also generate 96% less mono-nitrogen oxides than diesel and 68% less than petrol while also emitting 120 times less small particle emissions than diesel vehicles.
In order to meet the diverse challenges associated with pursuing sustainability, security and competitiveness, the world will need to rely on a wide range of energy solutions and make intelligent use of resources by employing each available energy form where it is most effective. Autogas, automatically produced during the production of natural gas and oil, is a readily available resource that can and should be used to help the world meet its energy needs. In this context, it is essential to move the passenger car fuel sector towards a more diverse and flexible system - Autogas.