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Opel Launches Broad LPG ecoFLEX Range; GM Having Detailed Final Talks with Magna and RHJI on Offers for Opel

Opellpg
Opel’s LPG range. Click to enlarge.

Opel is now offering five dual-fuel LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas)-powered Corsa, Meriva, Astra station wagon and Zafira models with a wide performance range, expanding its line of ecoFLEX models with alternative propulsion. The Opel LPG models can run on gasoline or LPG—the switch happens automatically, but can also be made by pressing a button.

In addition to the standard gasoline tank, these models also feature an LPG tank located either in the spare-wheel well (Corsa, Meriva, Astra station wagon) or under the vehicle floor (Zafira), ensuring storage space and load volume remain unchanged. Instead of the spare wheel, a tire repair set is on board for emergencies.

Opel says that vehicles fitted with an LPG engine ex-works have advantages over retrofit solutions for the customer. The powertrain is specifically designed for operation with LPG, and special valves and valve-seat inserts are among the elements that ensure durability. The vehicles all went through extensive endurance tests, and the LPG tank and all components were subjected to crash tests and meet all safety standards. The vehicles cost an extra €2,200 (US$3,100) compared to the gasoline variants—lower than for retrofit solutions.

Vehicle operating range can be significantly increased by using both tanks. For example, the LPG Astra station wagon can cover up to around 1,300 kilometers (808 miles) without stopping to refuel. CO2 emissions during LPG operation are 10 - 13% lower than in gasoline mode.

Opel offers a two-year manufacturer’s warranty; Inspection intervals and costs are comparable to those of conventionally-powered models.

LPG is the most popular alternative fuel in the world and is already used in more than 13 million vehicles. In Europe, there are more than 25,500 filling stations that sell LPG, with more than 5,000 of those in Germany. The largest markets for Opel’s new LPG range are Italy, France and Germany.

The new Opel LPG models (Power and CO2 figures are preliminary)
ModelPowerCO2
Corsa 1.2 LPG ecoFLEX 57 kW (78 hp) 127 g/km
Corsa 1.4 LPG ecoFLEX 64 kW (87 hp) 129 g/km
Meriva 1.4 LPG ecoFLEX 64 kW (87 hp) 129 g/km
Astra Station Wagon 1.6 LPG ecoFLEX 82 kW (108 hp) 142 g/km
Zafira 1.8 LPG ecoFLEX 100 kW (136 hp) 159 g/km

Status of Sale of Opel. On Wednesday, General Motors presented its preliminary findings on the offers on the table for Opel to the German Automotive Task Force and the Opel Trust Board, and said it continues detailed talks with two.

We had a good and thoughtful discussion around the key operating metrics and key issues associated with the three final offers we received on Monday evening. We have agreed to continue detailed talks with both Magna and RHJI to secure Opel’s future.

—John Smith, GM’s chief negotiator for the sale of Opel

Comments

kelly

With the sale cash, Lutz can produce more Camaros.

SJC

It will be interesting to see if LPG catches on in the U.S. I have no idea as to the supply of LNG for cars here. I have no idea of the delivery system for LNG, I only know that there are a LOT of natural gas pipelines to a lot of homes and businesses.

ai_vin

@SJC
"There are more than 270,000 on-road propane vehicles in the United States. Many are used in fleets, including light- and heavy-duty trucks, buses, taxicabs, police cars, and rental and delivery vehicles.

The availability of new light-duty original equipment manufacturer propane vehicles has declined in recent years. However, certified installers can economically and reliably retrofit many light-duty vehicles for propane operation. Propane engines and fueling systems are also available for heavy-duty vehicles such as school buses and street sweepers."

"The average cost of conversion of a light-duty vehicle from gasoline to dedicated propane fuel ranges from $4,000 to $12,000. The upfront costs to convert fleet vehicles to propane can be offset by lower operating and maintenance costs over the lifespan of the vehicles. Conversion to a dedicated propane or bi-fuel propane vehicle can be attractive when fueling infrastructure is in place and volume fuel discounts are available. The payback period depends on the average distance traveled by these fleet vehicles. Fleet vehicles typically are high-mileage, high fuel consumption vehicles operating in a limited area, so the payback period on propane fleet vehicles can be very reasonable."

LPG maybe the most popular alternative fuel in the world but it is also the least 'alternative' of the alternative fuels; it's production is dependant on the production of NG and gasoline and it'd "green factor" is between those two.

SJC

I think dual fuel LPG/gasoline cars would be great if you could get the LPG conveniently. I looked up LPG dealers in my area and there were a few and none were equipped to fuel cars. It is the "chicken and egg" problem again. No fueling stations because no cars, no cars because no fueling stations.

Sultan Hussain43

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