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Australia to Provide Rebates for LPG Vehicle Purchase or Conversion

14 August 2006

To accelerate the adoption of alternative fuels and to offer lower-cost fuel options than afforded by gasoline, Australia is now offering A$1,000 (US$760) toward the purchase cost of a new Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)-powered vehicle, and a grant of A$2,000 (US$1,519) to the cost of converting existing private vehicles to LPG.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard made the announcement during a statement to Parliament on energy initiatives.

The Australian LPG Association estimates that, on average, the fuel bill for a six-cylinder vehicle travelling 15,000 kilometers a year would be cut by $27 a week, or more than $1,400 a year, following conversion to LPG. Combining those fuel savings and the A$2,000 rebate would result in recouping the approximate A$2,500 conversion cost in four months, according to the Prime Minister.

The estimated cost of the LPG incentives is A$677.1 million (US$ 500 million) over the eight year life of the programme. Taking into account revenue forgone, the total cost is more than A$1.3 billion (US$987 million) over eight years.

LPG is Australia’s largest alternative transport fuel, and the country has the capacity to produce substantial amounts. LPG is readily available through 3,200 service stations in Australia, nearly half of those in regional or rural areas.

Howard also announced the additional expenditure of A$17.2 million (US$13 million) over three years to reduce the infrastructure cost to retailers of installing new pumps or converting existing pumps to E10 blends and to encourage sales of E10.

LPG is a mixture of several gases with propane as the chief ingredient. LPG is formed naturally, interspersed with deposits of petroleum and natural gas. Natural gas contains LPG, water vapor, and other impurities that must be removed before it can be transported in pipelines as a salable product.

LPG vehicles emit about one-third fewer reactive organic gases than gasoline-fueled vehicles. Nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide emissions are also 20% and 60% less, respectively. Unlike gasoline-fueled vehicles, there are no evaporative emissions while LPG vehicles are running or parked, because LPG fuel systems are tightly sealed. Small amounts of LPG may escape into the atmosphere during refueling, but these vapors are 50% less reactive than gasoline vapors, so they have less of a tendency to generate smog-forming ozone. LPG also has an extremely low sulfur content.

LPG delivers roughly the same power, acceleration, and cruising speed characteristics as gasoline, albeit with a somewhat reduced driving range, due to an energy content 70–75% that of gasoline. LPG’s high octane rating (around 105) means that an LPG engine’s power output and fuel efficiency can be increased beyond what would be possible with a gasoline engine without causing destructive knocking. Such fine-tuning can help compensate for the fuel’s lower energy density.

August 14, 2006 in Australia, Conversions, LPG, Policy | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0)

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I would like to know exactly what the estimate is for future supply of LPG. Is it sold on an international market or is it just kept within Australia? While this is a good short term step I think the Australian government is still refusing to face the prospect of fundamental changes to the transport sector such as electrification.

Sounds stupid to me. I understand they intend to make LPG from natural gas, so why not use natural gas as it is?

A couple of uncertainities here; I'm not sure to what extent an oil refinery can or should increase its output of LPG (propane) at the expense of other products. Secondly I don't know if the LPG conversion is valid for compressed natural gas (CNG). As oil declines so will LPG (and ethanol indirectly some say) so CNG would have been a more logical choice.

This announcment makes more sense when put in its local context.LPG has long been the fuel of choice for taxis and others that cover long distances for years because it currently attracts no excise and therefore is around 40% of the price of petrol. There are a number of businesses that specialise in LPG conversions and have done for years.The local car manaufacturers specialise in big sixes that are suitable for conversion This is a good short term fix for the political pressures brought to bear by high fuel prices.
What the article doesn't say is that John Howard also announced incentives for oil exploration at the same time. He has wedded Australia to a fossil fuel future as an "energy leader". You can't expect minor visionary moves like a switch to natural gas from a leader that is stuck in a 1950's mindset. At least it is a very small step in the right direction.

This announcment makes more sense when put in its local context.LPG has long been the fuel of choice for taxis and others that cover long distances for years because it currently attracts no excise and therefore is around 40% of the price of petrol. There are a number of businesses that specialise in LPG conversions and have done for years.The local car manaufacturers specialise in big sixes that are suitable for conversion This is a good short term fix for the political pressures brought to bear by high fuel prices.
What the article doesn't say is that John Howard also announced incentives for oil exploration at the same time. He has wedded Australia to a fossil fuel future as an "energy leader". You can't expect minor visionary moves like a switch to natural gas from a leader that is stuck in a 1950's mindset. At least it is a very small step in the right direction.

Australia has enormous landmass at subtropical/tropical latitudes. It also has a large Outback. It could use that landmass for massive algae biomass/oil production for animal/aquaculture feed, human food oil consumption, fuel, chemicals, CO2 sequestation, etc, etc, etc. Through utilization of waste heat (from retrofitted existing power plants and thermal solar concentrator electric generators) and Syngas plants, they could produce Saudi/late 80's Soviet levels of liquid energy for domestic consumption and export (specifcally to Asia). Solar electric production would provide for domestic demand.

LPG is in fact waste product from NG exploration and from oil refining. Using this incredibly clean, convenient, and high-octane fuel as the substitute of most expensive fuel – transportational – makes good sense. In addition, lube oil and engine overhaul intervals on LPG are 50% longer.

True, Aus does have pretty crazy amounts of very well lit land that can be had for very low prices (pennies on the acre, from what i hear). you could use ocean water pumped from the coast to make ponds for the algae. supplying them with sufficient CO2 could be expensive (there is a big mining industry that may be able to help on that account), and you'd have problems with increasing salinity as your water evaporated (maybe you'd want to co-manufacture both sea salt and biodiesel). speaking of massive amounts of evaporating water, you'd make the downwind areas more humid.

i don't think there is yet a good reason to go out and buy up 1000 acre lots of bushland, but there might be a way to make the numbers work out. it'd be an interesting study.

shaun mann,
Ponds may be simpler, but what I had in mind was something like this:
http://www.greencarcongress.com/2006/08/greenfuel_techn.html
_
The excess heat could be wicked away by cooling from an OTEC system. That heat could then be run through the system for power generation and production of distilled fresh water (and seawater minerals). As to CO2 enrichment, it could be brought in via ship or pipeline from powerplant emissions. Initial cost would be high, but over time, it would be paid off from algae derived product (and electricity) revenues. Either that or build a massive atmosphere gas product plant producing oxygen, nitrogen, argon, CO2, and other gases for various uses for the world.
Some links:
http://www.nrel.gov/otec/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_thermal_energy_conversion

Erm,. $2000 is about the conversion cost period, or at least it was a little while back. I don't know what the poster is going on about for it being $3000. Must have gone up with demand. There is a big waiting list atm for this.

Can not believe the government did this. Its mad. :) Now all I need is a decent vehicle to convert. My 1989 Pulsar with a screwed gearbox does not appear a likely candidate. Egad,.they've thaught of everything!! Its a big conspiracy I tells ya. Forcing people to find worthy cars to convert to gas. Also a 175 kW V6 muscle car is coming out here on gas out of the factory. Wee,..Aus is the place to be..
Mind you my next car has 2 wheels. As it is written, so it shall be :)

There are DME developments in CHina today:
LPG is mainly used as residential & industrial. The demand is increasing in Japan, China, India and Southeast Asia. LPG price is estimated to be increasing due to market growth in future. DME is very competitive against LPG price and LPG substitute is one of most potential market for DME. Pure DME combustion with household cooking gas stove for LPG was tested in Japan and it was reported that some modification would be needed. In China DME is mixed with LPG and the mixture without modification. DME can be blended up to 20% with liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and used for household cooking and heating.

If you would like to know more on the latest DME developments, join us at upcoming North Asia DME / Methanol conference in Beijing, 27-28 June 2007, St Regis Hotel. The conference covers key areas which include:


DME productivity can be much higher especially if
country energy policies makes an effort comparable to
that invested in increasing supply.
By:
National Development Reform Commission NDRC
Ministry of Energy for Mongolia

Production of DME/ Methanol through biomass
gasification could potentially be commercialized
By:
Shandong University completed Pilot plant in Jinan and
will be sharing their experience.

Advances in conversion technologies are readily
available and offer exciting potential of DME as a
chemical feedstock
By: Kogas, Lurgi and Haldor Topsoe

Available project finance supports the investments
that DME/ Methanol can play a large energy supply role
By: International Finance Corporation

For more information: www.iceorganiser.com

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