Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), autogas and propane are all terms used to describe the same thing – an alternative and eco engine fuel that is becoming more and more popular all over the world. The number of gas stations offering propane is growing. Propane systems can be installed on any vehicle and what is even more interesting is the fact that in the past few years some car manufacturers are producing propane vehicles too.
Even from the beginning of the 19th century, people have started to create experiments associated with propane use as an engine fuel. Since there were dozens of studies published in the early 19th century, Christian Reithmann a German watchmaker decided to create the first two-cylinder propane engine in 1876. Despite the fact that these experiments were very successful and there were more than 30,000 engines like this produced in this period, the need for faster engines in that time made diesel engines more popular. In addition, the problems associated with gas transportation (propane compression procedure was not invented yet) was another reason why the automotive industry turned to petrol as fuel. Starting in the 1940’s, propane became of interest once again due to its attractice price and it seems that now, this type of fuel is more popular than ever.
So, what exactly makes propane vehicles so attractive? This is a shortlist of some of the benefits that people can expect if they operate propane vehicles:
- It helps users save about 50% on fuel costs
- Quieter and calmer engine
- Increased durability of engine oil. The oil keeps its own characteristics and properties for a longer period of time because it is not decomposed with gasoline and therefore the regular maintenance cost is reduced too.
- The life of the engine is prolonged for about 30%
- There is no presence of smoke and soot
- Formation of corrosion is avoided. This corrosion comes as a result of the presence of additives found in gasoline. These additives are used to improve the properties of gasoline.
- The life of the exhaust system is prolonged
- Propane as a fuel doesn’t contain lead so by using this engine fuel the emissions of toxic fumes in the air are significantly reduced. This is one of the reasons why propane vehicles are considered to become most used vehicles in the future.
- With built-in propane, system drivers are able to choose what type of fuel they will use by pressing only one button.
- It requires no special adjustment or change in driving style
- Thanks to the multi-level protection, the entire system is safe in relation to accidental propane leakage.
Thanks to its ecological, security and economic benefits, propane is one of the leading alternative fuels today. According to some statistics there are about 10 million propane vehicles in more than 40 countries around the world. In addition to propane systems installed in cars upon purchase, some of the leading car manufacturers like General Motors, Ford, Volvo, Opel and others, offer certain vehicles with so-called bi-fuel version or in other words, vehicles with both petrol and propane.
There is no doubt that propane vehicles will become even more popular in the future.