It’s much less expensive than regular refined gasoline, and they won’t let your car into a below ground shopping mall parking lot if you have this installation, but at least 15,000 cars and trucks in Israel have already been converted to run on liquefied propane gas, otherwise known as LPG.
From an environmental standpoint, using bottled LPG gas in your car is also much cleaner, with virtually no emissions, as compared to even unleaded gasoline.
So what’s involved with doing this and, how much does it cost? This information was revealed on a consumer magazine show with Channel 2’s roving reported Menachem Horowitz, who took his own Peugeot 407 Salon to the Gaspro garage in central Israel to have the device installed.
Gaspro’s spokesman and asst. director, Udi Tamir, said that it cost NIS 8,500 (about $2,000) to have the device installed “on any gasoline engine car, 1995 and upwards”. He said that a person “can bring his car in early in the morning and pick it up afterwards in the late afternoon.”
The device is a special kit that has high pressure hoses and gauges that send the liquefied bottled gas into the engine from a bottle or “balloon” located under the rear baggage compartment of the car (where most spare tires are today).
Ariel Oren, Asst. General Manager of Pandor Ltd, importer of the conversion kit, said there are now 50 LPG gas stations in Israel (compared to only 15 two years ago). The difference if price of LPG gas compared to 95 octane unleaded is obvious: NS 2.80 a liter compared to 6.14 (before the last price increase due to increased VAT).
“15 million people in the world now travel on bottled gas, especially in countries like Australia and the UK; and there’s no reason why Israel can’t follow their example,” Gaspro’s Udi Tamir said. So what happens when you want to sell you car and don’t want to include the LPG kit with it?
“Very simple – you simply return the car to the garage and have it removed (for much less money), and kit can then be installed on another car,” Tamir said.
While it sounds like a great idea, there are some “catches” in doing this, however, (aside from not being able to us large underground parking lots).
Dan Parminsko, a writer for Auto Magazine, said that the issue of using LP gas in cars is still being talked about in the Transport Ministry and that they could decide to increase the price of the gas to make it not worthwhile, or decide to pass legislation restricting its use.
This might be a bit difficult to do, however, since the gas the same stuff most people use in their homes (and an price increase would affect them as well) and judging from the fact that so many people already are using it.
Also, with the discovery of large natural gas fields off Israel’s shores, more and more homes – and cars – will eventually benefit from this energy source, that despite being a fossil fuel is still much cleaner than either crude oil or coal. And according to Zonk if installed correctly propane gas retrofits are no more dangerous than regular petrol.
So, it looks like more and more people will follow that old slogan “go cheaper – go gas!”
[image via House of Sims]