All about LPG: What is it? Worth? What cars use it?
GLP stands for Liquefied Petroleum Gas . A fuel that some vehicles can use, either from the factory or because they have been adapted later. It is more economic and ecological than gasoline, so many people opt for it. And more so now that it has the advantages of a hybrid.
In this article we are going to tell you the characteristics of the LPG or Autogas , how it affects the use that is given to the car, what are its strengths and disadvantages and what to keep in mind to know if it's worth it.
What is LPG made of?
LPG is actually a mixture of two gases : butane and propane . That is, two fuels that have been used frequently in heating and cooking. Both gases become liquid, lowering their temperature below -40º C. Afterwards, it is kept in this state, keeping it at high pressure inside a cylinder.
Which cars can use GLP
For to start the combustion of LPG a spark is necessary , so only gasoline engines can equip the systems needed to use it. Diesel engines are not compatible , because instead of this they resort to the pressure increase of diesel fuel to ignite.
Some cars come prepared from the factorystrong> to use LPG, but even if it is not, almost any petrol car can be adapted later. The necessary requirement to receive the transformation is that it complies with the Euro 3 emission regulations . Or put another way: almost any petrol car after the year 2000.
How much it costs to convert a car to LPG
Yes one does not opt for a new LPG car bought directly from the house, you can always go to a specialized center to adapt it. The price is usually between 1,700 and 2,500 euros depending on the brand of the car, its number of cylinders and its size. You can ask for a budget without commitment in any of them.
Does it affect the car's performance?
Current LPG systems allow the performance of the car to be practically the same . Experts indicate that the power decrease is below 2%. So the change is imperceptible to the driver . A car with 125 hp using gasoline will deliver 122.5 hp while using the gas.
When the transformation is completed, the car is able to use gas or petrol interchangeably . The passage between the two systems in almost imperceptible . As much you will notice a decrease in noise when consuming the gas.
Unless otherwise indicated, the system itself will choose which of the two sources of energy will use at any time. Normally they are configured to start using gasoline, go to gas in a short time and return to gasoline when the gas is going to end.Normally 15,000 or 20,000. However, this method is somewhat deceptive , since a person who does only 10,000 km a year can also make a profit. The only difference is that it will take more time to recover the investment.
Below we leave you a calculator with which you can clearly see the calculation, but if you do not want to deal with the numbers , we give you some approximate examples, with the average prices of gasoline and LPG today (1,342 euros and 0,728 euros respectively).
A car with a combined fuel consumption of 6 , 5 l/100 km is adapted to LPG for 2,000 euros . Its owner travels 20,000 km per year with him, so he recovers the investment in 3 years . If you only traveled 10,000 km per year , you would also recover the money, but it would take 6 years .
In the same way, the more the car consumes, the sooner the investment will be recovered. If you consume 10 l/100 km , it will take only 2 years to recover the same investment, with 20,000 km per year, or 4 years if you only travel 10,000 km.
Average price of the gasoline today in Spain *
Average price from the GLP today in Spain *
*: You can filter by province.
Is it worth the GLP?
In addition to the saving of money that the LPG can suppose, there is another series of factors that should be valued to make the correct decision. For this we have developed a list of the pros and contras that has a car powered by this gas, either factory or with a subsequent transformation .
- Economical : the aforementioned saving money if done correctly .
- Ecological : emits 15% less CO2 and between 70% and 90% less NOX. The latter are the dangerous gases that have brought so much tail with the cases of traps in emissions tests such as the dieselgate .
- ECO Sticker : the car will be entitled to the environmental sticker type ECO, so it will have several advantages. Among them are the discounts in the regulated parking areas.
- Less wear : all the mechanics consulted indicated that the cars fed with LPG dirty less the engine and spend less oil.
- Less luggage or no wheel . Depending on where the LPG tank is placed, two things can happen: either part of the trunk is lost by locating it there (less frequent) or losing the spare wheel because a toroidal cylinder is placed in its place. This last case is the most frequent today, since modern tires are much more resistant than before.
- Fewer gas stations with LPG : although the suppliers of this type of fuel has proliferated in the last decade, we must take into account if we are going to have one nearby. For this we leave this map where you can see where the nearest one is:
Map of gas stations
Tips for deciding on the LPG or not
- Use the calculator above. This way you will know if it is worth the investment. You must have at least one fence of your usual routes. For example, on daily commutes to work or on long trips to your land or for any other reason. A person living in Barcelona or Madrid city is rare to have a problem, but things can change if you live in a somewhat retired town.
- Keep in mind the autonomy you will have using GLP . For example with a toroidal deposit located in the hollow of the spare wheel can get about 33 liters of capacity. With a consumption of 7.5 liters of LPG every 100 km you will have a range of about 400 km. If you want to know how much GLP your car would consume, a good approximation would be to add 15% to what you usually consume in gasoline. For example: if you consume 8.7 l/100 km of gasoline, you will consume 10 l/100 km of gas and the autonomy will be 300 km.