Advantages of autogas conversion

The conversion of passenger cars to autogas (liquid gas or. LPG) is relatively uncomplicated. Basically, any vehicle with a gasoline engine can run on about 1.000 to 2.400 euro can be converted. The cost of converting to autogas varies depending on the number of cylinders, tank size and system type (see prices and costs). Different tank sizes can be installed depending on requirements, which also affects the price of the conversion. The empty weight of an LPG unit is around 40 kg.

  • Spare wheel recess tank (34 to 85 liters of liquid gas), where a puncture spray replaces the spare wheel.
  • Trunk tank (60 to 200 liters of liquid gas), usually in cylinder form.
  • Underfloor tank (capacity depending on the manufacturer)

The dry additive-free autogas is burned by almost all gasoline engines without any problems (autogas also produces less combustion residue). However, for a few types of vehicles in addition, the installation of additive additives (z.B. Flashlube) in the intake tract recommended, to reduce wear on the valves and valve seats in the changed fuel type and combustion conditions. The reason for this lies in the combustion temperatures prevailing in autogas operation, which are considerably higher than those of gasoline for the same fuel-air mixture. In a few vehicle types, the valve seats are significantly less resistant to temperature than in other vehicle types, so that under certain circumstances engine damage can occur in gas operation. However, the additive-beimenger are a reliable component of the system and prevent engine damage. Practical additive refill packages can be found under autogas accessories and additives.

1. range and costs

The range of a vehicle converted to autogas in gas mode is depending on the tank size and power of the engine between 350 and 1000 km. During the conversion, the normal gasoline tank remains, so that the vehicle can be operated with either gasoline or autogas (bivalent drive). The switching between gasoline and autogas operation is usually automatic, but can also be done manually by the driver while driving. The most common types of systems are set up in such a way that the vehicle starts with gasoline and is also driven for the first few meters. When the engine is warm, it automatically switches to gas operation. This ensures that the engine is not switched to autogas operation until it has reached operating temperature.

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If the installation of the gas tank also changes the As the capacity of the luggage compartment is reduced, the autogas conversion is also associated with a considerable increase in range. The economic and ecological advantages of the autogas conversion can only be realized if the vehicle is driven on gas as much as possible. A small gas indicator is installed on the center console to check the level of the gas tank and to change the fuel.

Tax advantages for autogas

  • Until the end of 2018, autogas is tax-privileged in germany. A liter of autogas can be had for as little as 0.76 euros.
  • The efficiency of autogas is between 80 % and 95 % compared to gasoline, with only a slight reduction in performance in gas mode (around 5 % less).
  • Depending on the annual mileage, an autogas conversion pays for itself very quickly. You can calculate your personal break-even point with the help of our profitability calculator.
  • Generally, you can count on a good coverage of autogas filling stations in germany. In countries such as the netherlands and poland, there is even nationwide coverage (see autogas service station network).

2. LPG and climate protection

In addition to the financial benefits, you can make an active contribution to climate protection with an autogas conversion. Each autogas vehicle saves approx. 35,000 km per year. 1.19 t of CO2. This means that driving on autogas emits around 15% less C02 than driving on gasoline. In addition, autogas does not contain any pollutant additives, burns almost residue-free and emits up to 80% less pollutants than the combustion of gasoline or diesel. Emissions of harmful exhaust gas components such as benzene, aldehyde and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are significantly reduced. Further information: autogas and the environment

3. Autogas is safe

With all the economic and ecological advantages, autogas offers a high level of safety. autogas-powered vehicles are as safe as gasoline or diesel vehicles. Special pressure relief valves on the tank protect against explosions in traffic accidents. Autogas dispensers are very easy to operate. Further information: autogas safety

4. summary / advantages of autogas conversion at a glance:

  • Conversion of almost all vehicles with gasoline engine (petrol) possible
  • Range in gas mode up to 1.000 km; plus optional range of the gasoline tank
  • Bivalent drive: optional drive with gasoline or autogas autogas or gasoline.
  • In germany autogas tax benefits until the end of 2018. Cost per liter currently at 76 cents.
  • Autogas conversion from 1.300€
  • Low maintenance costs
  • Hardly noticeable loss of performance (by 5 %)
  • Environmentally friendly: up to 80% less pollutants and up to 15% less CO2 than gasoline or diesel
  • As safe as gasoline or diesel vehicles
  • increase of the resale value of the vehicle
  • Currently around 6.700 autogas filling stations in germany. Nationwide supply in the rest of europe.

5. LPG and natural gas (CNG) in comparison

Our authors have already explained that not all gas is the same in the autogas fuel section. While autogas – often also referred to as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) – is a butane/propane mixture produced during crude oil and natural gas production and in crude oil refineries, natural gas is a natural gas that occurs in underground deposits. Natural gas usually occurs together with petroleum and consists mainly of highly flammable methane, but differs in its further chemical composition. The exact chemical composition varies depending on the fuel site. Natural gas is processed in compressed form for use in motor vehicles, is known by the abbreviation CNG (compressed natural gas) and is usually simply compressed rather than liquefied. Although natural gas can be liquefied at minus 164 degrees celsius (LNG), this practice is hardly common.

As a result of their respective properties, autogas (liquefied petroleum gas) and natural gas differ in terms of their possible applications in motor vehicles.

6. advantages and disadvantages of autogas and natural gas

Both gases have their advantages and disadvantages, but which gas is the best? better? Which is more environmentally friendly and, from a financial point of view, more economical for retrofitting??

Both those converting motor vehicles to autogas and to natural gas claim to have low-pollution and low-cost alternative to gasoline or diesel to be converted. The study evaluation of alternative passenger car drive systems. CNG-, LPG- and gasoline-powered cars in comparisonthe research center for energy economics e.V. Attempted to create clarity and compare the advantages and disadvantages of the two fuel concepts as early as 2004.

The study examined fuels in particular with regard to physical properties, availability and origin, range in operation, safety, total energy balance (production and distribution) as well as the investment costs for the vehicle and the maintenance and refueling costs.

Even though both gas systems and gasoline engines have undergone significant development since 2004, we still consider the findings to be significant. subjects of investigation such as z. B. The availability of fuels or the investment and fuel costs were adjusted in our analysis to reflect current conditions. If we pick out the aspects of interest to those interested in gas conversion and compare the fuels autogas and natural gas directly, the following picture emerges:

Tax concession:
Both autogas and natural gas are tax-privileged until 2018 according to the energy tax law.

  • For liquefied petroleum gas as a fuel – i.e. autogas – the tax rate is currently 16.6 cents/kg (8.96 cents/liter), which corresponds to a tax rate of 1.29 cents/kilowatt hour.
  • Natural gas fuel (CNG) is taxed at 18.03 cents/kg and comes to 1.39 cents/kilowatt-hour (energy tax law- call date 8. april 2008).

In terms of taxation, the fuels are roughly equal, although autogas is taxed at a slightly lower rate.

CO2 emissions:
natural gas vehicles emit around 7% less CO2 in operation than autogas vehicles (direct and energy-related indirect CO2 emissions). Unlike autogas, however, natural gas is not transported in liquid form in tanks but via gas pipelines. Taking into account the leakage of the pipelines and the corresponding greenhouse gas potential, the greenhouse gas emissions of autogas and natural gas are almost identical.

Gas tanks and trunk volume:
autogas tanks are operated at lower pressures (about 8 bar for the autogas tank compared to about 230 bar filling pressure for natural gas tanks). The low pressure in the autogas tank makes it possible to design autogas tanks more freely. For example, autogas conversions usually use custom-fitted spare-wheel trough tanks, which consequently do not reduce the trunk volume, whereas natural gas conversions require the use of elongated, bottle-shaped gas tanks.

with the same tank volume the range with autogas is greater than with natural gas. This is made possible by the higher specific energy density of gas storage in the form of liquefied petroleum gas (autogas).

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Fuel quality:
the quality requirements for autogas are regulated uniformly throughout europe in DIN EN 589. Natural gas, on the other hand, is offered in a variety of gas qualities, which can have an impact on emissions behavior and the range possible with a single tank filling.

fuel supply:
autogas arrives at filling stations like gasoline in tankers. Natural gas filling stations require a connection to a gas network. In the follow in germany there are now about 6.650 filling stations with autogas pumps compared with around 915 natural gas filling stations. The supply situation of liquid gas (autogas) is more stable than that of natural gas. autogas can be stored better in liquid form. The transit of natural gas from russia via the ukraine, on the other hand, involves risks, as the gas dispute in january 2009, which had serious consequences for many eastern european countries, showed. More information about the gas station network: autogas tankstellen-finder

  • Natural gas: 14 kwh / 1 kg
  • LPG: 7 kwh / 1 liter
  • For comparison: super gasoline: 9 kwh / 1 liter

The result is that for the energy content of one delivery unit of natural gas, approximately two delivery units of autogas must be refueled / purchased in order to obtain the same energy content for the money.

The average end-user price per dispensing unit at German filling stations for CNG natural gas is currently around €1.07/kg, for autogas around €0.76/liter (in January 2014). According to the above calculation, 14 kwh of energy in the form of natural gas currently costs around 1.07€. 14 kwh of energy as autogas costs 1,52€. Thus, natural gas fuel is currently cheaper.

If one considers the costs for the installation, a more differentiated picture emerges. The retrofit of natural gas is much more expensive than the conversion of a petrol engine to autogas. The prices for a subsequent autogas conversion in an independent specialist workshop are becoming more and more favorable and are for a four-cylinder gasoline engine already for 1.450€ to have. Converting a car to run on natural gas (CNG), on the other hand, costs about 3.200€ 750 in subsidies from a local gas supplier by a local gas supplier is already taken into account. Thus, the autogas conversion pays off much faster (see also profitability calculator).

As an analysis of the criteria relevant to conversion shows, autogas can clearly hold its own against natural gas for use in motor vehicles.

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