Gas Energy Australia (GEA), the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) and the Australian Taxi Industry Association (ATIA) have welcomed the release of an independent study of demand for new Autogas Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) vehicles.
The Autogas Vehicle Demand Study by the Australian consulting firm ABMARC found that autogas vehicles could meet future demand for vehicles that deliver reduced carbon and noxious emissions, as well as lower operating costs.
The jointly funded study by the Victorian Government, the VACC and GEA, built a strong case for investment in autogas facilities able to convert and manufacture vehicles that would be able to meet existing and latent demand from fleet operators.
VACC, GEA and ATIA agree with the need for a prompt business case analysis of such facilities, given the nearing end for the Australian production of new autogas vehicles.
An autogas manufacturing facility would help protect local jobs through automotive innovation, by delivering products that improve the environmental impact and on road costs of Australian vehicles.
The study recommendations are further bolstered by the findings of a six-month Melbourne trial of cutting-edge SVI LPG hybrid engines. The trial of 13CABS taxis equipped with the latest autogas engines found carbon reduction of 14.5 per cent when compared with the petrol-electric hybrid.
GEA’s CEO, John Griffiths said: “There are approximately 3,600 Australians qualified to work on autogas vehicles, with almost 1,700 of them in Victoria. The study paves the way to an LPG conversion and manufacturing plant, that can advantage of the potential demand and safeguard automotive jobs.
This study shows that autogas vehicles can play a major role in meeting the nation’s transport needs, while contributing to a cleaner and more secure energy future. We will be liaising with parties interested in developing autogas engineering design and manufacturing facilities in Australia, to conduct a detailed business case.”
VACC’s CEO, Geoff Gwilym said: “The study found the cumulative demand for Autogas vehicles over the next seven years could be between 160,000 and 430,000 vehicles, depending on vehicle availability along with government environmental and fuel tax policies.
“The plant would create downstream opportunities for businesses that service the manufacturing industry. From a state and industry perspective, this initiative has the capacity to keep Victoria at the forefront of industry innovation.”
ATIA CEO, Blair Davies said: “The taxi industry is well positioned to be an early adopter of new Autogas vehicle technologies, with 500 autogas taxis already in operation.
“The latest LPG hybrid engines have delivered Co2 savings of 1.76 tonnes per taxi, while reducing vehicle operating costs. For anyone who cares about the environment and global warming, grabbing an LPG hybrid cab just makes more sense.”
The Autogas Vehicle Demand Study executive summary can be viewed at: