While the price of petrol is currently low, compared to what it has been for the past few years, some observers say it must go up again eventually. If it does, you may want to think about converting your car to LPG.
The Federal Government rebate is no longer available and, due to the complexity of modern engines, the conversion cost has increased, so make sure you get a firm quote from an LPG installer before proceeding. Your pay-back period will depend on your vehicle and how far you drive each year.
But have you got all the facts?
The environment wins if you make the change, leading to lower greenhouse emissions. The Australian Government has calculated that the mass of CO2 (greenhouse) gas released from the exhaust pipe by the burning of one litre of fuel is:
- 2.3 kg for Petrol
- 1.5 kg for LPG.
LPG = Fewer kilometres per litre
You can expect a 15-30 per cent increase in fuel consumption over petrol per kilometre because the lower energy content of gas requires more to be burned in the engine compared with petrol and you have to factor this into your calculations.
In knowing all this, is a change to LPG worth it?
You have to be sure all the figures add up and that you are going to be better off economically if you convert. Another option is to buy a second hand car that was manufactured with LPG fitted, such as the Ford Falcon LPi models. These are LPG-only (ie, no petrol system is fitted at all). They are no longer available new but were produced for several years up to 2014, so there are a good number of low kilometre examples available on the market at reasonable prices. The Holden Commodore was also offered for a couple of years with a factory-warranted LPG system.