I recently purchased a second-hand Mercedes Benz in very good condition that works on petrol and liquefied petroleum gas. As I am getting used to the car, I track the cost of using LPG compared to Gazohol 95 with my previous car. I drive around 80 kilometers a day and I start to see the huge saving I am making.
The cost for 240 kilometers on liquefied petroleum gas was last week 300 Thb ($10), which is around 1.25 Thb per kilometer. Not bad at all! It is not taking into account that the car is always starting on petrol and switches automatically on gas after a few minutes. This adds to the cost a little bit and I expect the figure to be 1,50 Thb per kilometer, which is still excellent.
My previous car, also a Mercedes Benz, was a hole and the cost what about 3 Thb per kilometer, maybe more. I should have installed a liquefied petroleum gas system on this one, but I was concerned the transformation could do some damage to the excellent engine I had.
In Thailand LPG is very popular because it is very cheap. The network of liquefied petroleum gas stations is huge and spread throughout the country. I believe that there are more LPG stations than ordinary petrol stations. As shown above, the cost of gas versus petrol is very affordable.
The installation of such a system is not too expensive considering the saving you will make later. The price range for a liquefied petroleum gas unit is between 24,000 to 36,000 Thb depending on the gas tank and the engine of the car.
Liquefied Petroleum Gas:
When liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is used to fuel internal combustion engines, it is often referred to as autogas or auto propane. In some countries, it has been used since the 1940s as a petrol alternative for spark ignition engines. In some countries, there are additives in the liquid that extend engine life and the ratio of butane to propane is kept quite precise in fuel LPG.
Two recent studies have examined LPG-fuel-oil fuel mixes and found that smoke emissions and fuel consumption are reduced but hydrocarbon emissions are increased.
The studies were split on CO emissions, with one finding significant increases, and the other finding slight increases at low engine load but a considerable decrease at high engine load.
Its advantage is that it is non-toxic, non-corrosive and free of tetraethyllead or any additives, and has a high octane rating (102-108 RON depending on local specifications).
It burns more cleanly than petrol or fuel-oil and is especially free of the particulates from the latter.