UK Government 'committed' to LPG

The case for motorsport to accommodate LPG fuel was strengthened yesterday when Britain's Energy Minister, Brian Wilson, told the 2003 conference of the Liquified Petroleum Gas Association in Dorset that the Government has an ongoing commitment to the increasingly popular fuel as a 'greener' alternative to petrol/gasoline. Britain's ASN, the MSA, recently granted a dispensation for an LPG-fuelled Land Rover Discovery to compete in the Scottish Rally Championship

UK Government 'committed' to LPG

Contrary to popular belief, LPG does not necessarily imply a 20 percent power loss relative to petrol. Some R&D in this area, such as that being undertaken by IWEMA Enterprise in the Netherlands, is actually achieving small power gains.

LPG, which is half the price of petrol in the UK, also emits far less carbon dioxide and other air pollutants. About 25,000 new LPG vehicles or conversions are now produced annually in the UK and numbers are growing as more filling stations stock the fuel and grants are made available for conversions. The UK energy industry has already invested over £50m to increase public access to LPG filling stations and last month the Government launched its 'Boost LPG' initiative to increase the availability of the fuel in rural areas. More than 5m drivers worldwide use the fuel.

"My strong support for LPG is founded on its environmental benefits, and the necessity to increase low carbon transport," Wilson said. "A fuel that reduces air pollution and costs half the price of petrol or diesel is something motorists can't afford to ignore. Other future fuels, such as hydrogen, are a long way from translating into a serious alternative. Even the Americans, who have thrown their weight behind the hydrogen economy, do not see mainstream vehicles being fuelled in that way until 2020 at the earliest. LPG is the bird in the hand. That's why I personally would like the current fuel duty rebate retained, to help seal the maturity of LPG."

Owned and entered by Kevin Kilgour's Kilocomms telecommunications company, the LPG-fuelled Land Rover Discovery is the only off-road vehicle taking part in the Scottish rally series.

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