UK: petrol-fuelled range extenders of electric taxis switch to LPG and bioLPG

SBL-Automotive presented an innovative new fuelling system that could save LEVC TX taxi drivers between 30-50% in operating costs compared to using petrol fuel. The company plans to evolve the petrol-fuelled range extender engine of the LEVC TX and VN5 by using cleaner and more economic fuels such as Autogas to further drive down costs and make for a greener running taxi.

The black cabs supplied by rental firm HP Taxi use Prins Alternative Fuel Systems VSI-3 hardware and can also adopt net zero carbon emission renewable fuel biopropane (that replaces LPG). No further vehicle changes are required to adopt this renewable fuel in place of LPG.

As an added bonus, operating ranges of the LEVC TX -and also its commercial van model the VN5- are increased by 90% when equipped with the Autogas-powered range extended engine after the installation of the bi-fuel system as the original petrol tank is also retained.

The technology uses Prins Alternative Fuel Systems VSI-3 system, and includes:

  • Fuel tanks for LPG/biopropane or CNG/biomethane
  • Bi-fuel ECU which works alongside the original LEVC engine ECU
  • LPG/biopropane fuel vaporiser (warmed by engine coolant)
  • Or a CNG pressure regulator (warmed by engine coolant)
  • Gaseous fuel injectors
  • Fuel gauge / switch in the vehicle cabin.


Conversion costs for the system are in development, and SBL-Automotive is targeting the system paying for itself in 1-2 years. For more information, please check this link.

Photo: SBL-Automotive

20 July 2022