Argus European Autogas Seminar – Frankfurt, 13-14 June 2012
Apart from presentations on the European Autogas market, which included country updates on Poland, Turkey and Ukraine, there were some other interesting reviews from Australia and, South Korea.
Samuel Maubanc, the General Manager of the European LPG Association, AEGPL, described to the delegates some of the challenges of lobbying for Autogas within the European Commission and gave an insight into the Energy Taxation Directive and the negative impact proposed changes to fuel-taxation policy could have for Autogas in Europe. He then gave the delegates some good news with some examples of how Autogas could benefit from the Clean Transport Systems Initiative.
He quoted some extracts from the European Commission expert group studies: “LPG…is expected to keep its position as fuel primarily used in passenger cars and vans, with the potential of possibly increasing from its current market share of around 3% to around 10% by 2020…”
Samuel also presented some material extracted from The Fuel Quality Directive which put Autogas in a very favourable position when compared with gasoline, diesel and natural gas with respect to ‘well-to-wheel’ greenhouse-gas emissions intensity.
Nick Black chaired the seminar and highlighted the Argus Autogas Surveys, which have recently been published in LPG World. He challenged the industry with some questions:
- Are we modern enough?
- Are we cheap enough?
- Are we well known?
- Are we supported by the OEM industry enough?
- Have we run out of steam?
Other presentations highlighted the technological innovation being achieved by companies such as Ford, General Motors, G-volution, Vialle and Prinsautogas. They suggested that there were some exciting opportunities for Autogas ahead.
I was one of the panellists at the seminar and discussed the Global Autogas Lobby Plan, which we at the WLPGA are developing. The Plan, which is designed for both new and established markets, includes a ‘Lobby Framework’ and a toolbox of materials to assist the industry in promoting Autogas. I stressed the critical importance of ensuring that the three main stakeholders – the Original Equipment Manufactuers (OEMs), governments and fuel marketers – are all fully supportive, because if any one of them wasn’t, then that strategy will surely fail.
The final message from the conference was that the industry needed to communicate the benefits of Autogas better, especially when it came to comparing engine performance, exhaust emissions and greenhouse-gas emissions. As many of the presenters said, Autogas is an exceptional transport fuel. Let’s make sure that everyone knows.
Details of the WLPGA Autogas Lobby Plan can be found on www.worldlpgas.com or by contacting David directly on firstname.lastname@example.org.