There has never been a better time to switch to Autogas

There has never been a better time to switch to Autogas Editorial
By Trevor Morgan, Editor, Autogas Updates

High oil prices are back. And this time they could be here to stay. Many people – including the head of Total in France – are predicting $200 crude oil, and sooner rather than later. That will inevitably mean even higher gasoline and diesel prices at the pump, eating deeper into households’ spending power at a time when living standards in many countries are falling.

One answer to high fuel prices is to drive less. And some motorists are doing just that: I just drove across Paris on a mid-week evening during the rush hour and didn’t encounter a single traffic jam – a first for me this side of August!

But a better answer is Autogas. In France and many other countries around the world, Autogas is taxed less than the traditional fuels because it pollutes less and emits fewer greenhouse gases. This makes it much cheaper at the pump. And the price advantage of Autogas tends to get even bigger as spot prices rise. As a result, motorists can make huge savings on their fuel bill.

Of course, to use Autogas, you need to convert an existing gasoline so that it can run on both fuels – a pretty straightforward and inexpensive procedure – or buy a factory-built car. It is becoming clear that motorists tend to prefer the latter – something that is highlighted by several of the contributors to this edition of Autogas Updates.

The good news is that the range of Autogas models offered by the leading carmakers is expanding. Among the latest offerings are the new ecoFLEX cars from OPEL in Europe and new dedicated Autogas models from Holden and Ford in Australia. And they are being priced attractively to ensure they can compete effectively with equivalent gasoline and diesel cars.

Some people have said to me: why switch to using another oil-based fuel, when we are running out of oil? But Autogas is really a gas-based fuel, as LPG supplies come predominately – and increasingly – from natural gas. If we are running short of oil, we are far from running out of gas. Indeed, some say we are entering a golden age of gas.

To be honest, I think electric cars are the long-term answer to sustainable personal transport. But we are still many years away from coming up with an affordable electricity vehicle with an acceptable driving range and a battery than can be recharged quickly. And even when that happens, it will still take decades to retool car factories around the world to make those cars. In the meantime, Autogas is the best bet against another oil shock and a cost-effective way of cleaning the air and fighting climate change.

Disagree? Agree? Either way, Trevor would like to hear your reaction and any thoughts you might have about Autogas Updates!
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