New report supports strong forecasting for increased LPG take-up as an automotive fuel to 2050

Posted on: Wednesday, May 6, 2015 by Fahmeda Ahmed

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The UK’s Liquefied Petroleum Gas trade association (UKLPG) has unveiled new research showing that automotive LPG could play a significant role in the transport sector through to 2050.

The report supports the findings published in the Low CVP Infrastructure Road Map, which reveals that 40,000 automotive LPG conversions could be needed each year until 2030. Current demand levels for the fuel could quadruple, while petrol and diesel requirements could decrease by 50 to 80% between now and 2050.

UKLPG commissioned Millbrook Proving Ground to undertake a comprehensive review, Millbrook Evidence Report: The Future of LPG and its Use as an Automotive Fuel over the Next 35 Years’ (February 2015), to identify the role automotive LPG could play in the future of the transport sector through to 2050.

Millbrook’s Evidence Report highlighted the potential for automotive LPG to take an ongoing role within the UK’s current transport mix both as a mono and dual fuel. Identifying that the petrol market’s share should remain strong through to 2050 thanks to the continued dominance of traditional internal combustion powered engines, the report confirmed this could give the fuel a strong platform for increasing future take-up.

Automotive LPG is also a strong partner for future technologies, as the fuel possesses significant scope to work with fuel cells, plug-in hybrids and APU types, Millbrook’s research has found.

Millbrook’s report also called for greater recognition for the air quality benefits of automotive LPG, which were recently championed by environmental expert Dr Eric Johnson. Referring from data from an independent German test facility, Johnson revealed that compared with petrol and diesel, automotive LPG cars are lower carbon. Compared with diesel, LPG is lower on the pollutants that are harmful to human health.

The review strongly supports findings from recent independent well-to-wheel analysis from the EU Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) which show that automotive LPG-powered vehicles can be produced with very low levels of regulated emissions. Indeed, automotive LPG has 23% reduced carbon intensity versus diesel, and a 21% reduction versus petrol.

The report’s publication follows hot on the heels of the launch of the LP Autogas Blueprint earlier this year, A Low Carbon Alternative Fuel for Today. This urged the government to work with the automotive sector to develop a role for automotive LPG as part of an integrated road fuels strategy that sets out a development framework for all fuels.

“The research, backed by supporting evidence, clearly identifies the potential for a strong future for automotive LPG to 2050. We’re keen to work together with the automotive industry and policy makers to develop the future of low-carbon road transport in which automotive LPG plays a key role,” said UKLPG chief executive Rob Shuttleworth. “As an incredibly versatile, plentiful and clean fuel, automotive LPG deserves far greater recognition for its air quality, low-carbon and cost effective benefits.

“Stronger collaboration across the automotive sector can help reduce harmful emissions, decrease fuel bills and make better use of the established infrastructure at the UK’s disposal.”

“Based on our comprehensive, independent review of the available evidence, it is clear that there is a role for automotive LPG through to 2050,” said Phillip Taylor, principal engineer, Powertrain Integration, Alternative Propulsion, Energy and CO2 at Millbrook Proving Ground. “The international emissions data is favourable to LPG, showing strong performance under well-to-wheel testing conditions.

“In addition, the internal combustion engine will continue to make up a reasonable proportion of the total transport mix in the next 35 years and there are possibilities for LPG as both a mono and dual fuel, working with existing and future powertrain technologies.”

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