Auto lpg: is it still worth it? | quixa
In the summer, the European Parliament approved the stop to the sale of endothermic cars starting from 2035, a measure that aims at a net cut in polluting emissions through the ban on the marketing of petrol, diesel and LPG vehicles. This initiative is part of the Fit for 55 strategy, a plan that aims to cut 55% of CO2 emissions by 2030.
At this point it is quite legitimate to ask whether an LPG car is still worthwhile, also considering the increase in the price of liquefied petroleum gas and the numerous concessions available for ecological electric and hybrid cars. Let's see what are the pros and cons of LPG cars today, to understand if it is advantageous to buy this type of vehicle or if it is better to focus on other types of fuel.
How much does car lpg cost?
LPG cars are cars equipped with a normal internal combustion engine, powered instead of petrol or diesel with liquefied petroleum gas. This mixture of butane, propane and other substances is loaded into a special tank installed in the car, usually in the trunk, benefiting from a lower cost than conventional hydrocarbons (petrol and diesel).
In recent years, however, there has been an increase in LPG for cars linked in part to the rise in the price of oil and other fossil fuels such as heating gas. Today the cost of LPG is around € 0.82 per liter, a level barely exceeded in the peaks reached between 2012 and 2014, while in 2020 it had fallen below € 0.60 per liter.
The refueling of an LPG vehicle, therefore, remains cheaper than that of a petrol or diesel car. Considering an average 45-liter tank, the full tank of an LPG car costs around € 37, while that of a petrol car of the same capacity around € 77 and a diesel car around € 82.
Unlike methane, LPG does not cause a reduction in vehicle performance, so it is possible to travel a similar number of kilometers with petrol, diesel or LPG. As for the economic savings on the cost of refueling, therefore, LPG cars are still today a convenient choice compared to diesel and petrol endothermic models.
How much does an LPG system for cars cost?
An important aspect concerns the choice between a car already prepared for liquefied petroleum gas and a car to be configured for this combustible gas. In the first case it is necessary to take into account a slightly higher purchase price, in the second one it is necessary to consider the cost of the LPG system for the car.
The cost varies from 800 to 2,000 euros, to which approximately 100 euros must be added for the tank and approximately 130 euros for the testing of the system by a qualified technician. The cost is higher for new generation cars, while savings are made by mounting the system on an older car with more obsolete Euro 1 or 2 approved injection systems.
When to change the car's LPG cylinder? The tank must be replaced every 10 years, in addition to system overhaul and routine maintenance, such as cleaning the injectors and periodic system checks. Taking into account that the price of LPG is about half the price of petrol and diesel, it is possible to recover the investment in a couple of years at the most by traveling 20,000 km per year.
Advantages and disadvantages of LPG cars today
At this point, let's see what are the pros and cons of LPG cars today, to understand what aspects to evaluate before buying a car prepared for liquefied petroleum gas.
Advantages of LPG cars:
• savings of approximately 50% on the cost of fuel;
• no significant reduction in car performance;
• cars are considered less polluting than petrol and diesel models;
• high number of LPG distributors present on the national territory;
• some municipalities allow access to the ZTL.
On the contrary, among the disadvantages of LPG cars we must consider:
• purchase price a little higher than the petrol versions;
• it is not possible to refuel alone but only through an employee;
• few car lpg distributors in Southern Italy;
• mandatory replacement of the tank after 10 years.
Is an LPG car still worth it?
LPG cars can still represent a good option to save on fuel, especially for those who travel many kilometers a year. The economic advantage is reduced with a limited mileage, as it takes more time to amortize the higher purchase cost of LPG cars and the maintenance costs of the system.
Undoubtedly, it is better to buy an LPG car already prepared, in fact the subsequent installation involves a higher expense, with higher costs for the conversion of diesel cars compared to petrol vehicles. Modern lpg systems for cars are also very reliable and safe, without particular problems of breakdowns and malfunctions.
Considering the European farewell plan for endothermic cars, the perspective of an LPG car changes, in a similar way to that of a petrol or diesel car. In the future, cars with combustion engines will probably be banned, but it will still take many years before circulation with this type of vehicle is banned, so the LPG car remains an investment to be evaluated.
In general, those who spend a lot on fuel can take advantage of a substantial economic benefit with an LPG car, recovering the initial expense in a few years. However, it is necessary to analyze the pros and cons of this solution, as with electric cars and plug-in hybrids it is possible to obtain higher savings, greater benefits and reduce polluting emissions.
Among the advantages of electric cars there is the possibility of saving on the RCA policy, for example by taking out car insurance quixa E-Green. This is an insurance cover dedicated to sustainable mobility, with the possibility of benefiting from a 20% discount on RCA and a roadside assistance service in the event of an accident, breakdown or battery depletion.