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EDITIONS
Friday, 20 September, 2002, 22:20 GMT 23:20 UK
Drive to use cleaner car fuel
Motorist refilling with LPG
It can cost 2,000 to have a car converted to LPG
The government is trying to persuade more car drivers to use eco-friendly fuels, such as LPG - liquefied petroleum gas.


What has just been historically very much a fleet proposition is being extended into wider consumer areas

Martyn Pring
Energy Saving Trust
But of the 26 million cars on Britain's roads, just 80,000 run on the fuel, even though it is much cheaper than petrol.

Major manufacturers make increasing numbers of LPG vehicles, but the take-up by consumers has been low.

The government wants to persuade company car drivers to choose LPG because two or three years down the line their cars will reach the second-hand car market.

Half the price of petrol

Martyn Pring of the Energy Saving Trust says that will allow more people to buy the vehicles.

"What has just been historically very much a fleet proposition is being extended into wider consumer areas," he says.

One drawback for motorists is that their cars have to be converted and that can cost up to 2,000 ($3,100).

Although a 75% grant is available, cars have to be no more than five years old and an approved converter must be used.

Lower duty means that LPG is virtually half the price of petrol but it has yet to get over the criticism that it is too much hassle.

A chicken in your tank

There is another cheap fuel on the market - bio-diesel.

It is a niche market, although one company with three bio diesel garages in Yorkshire has plans to open eight more.

"It is truly the only renewable alternative fuel.

Many other types of fuels are held out to be renewable but in fact they aren't," says Peter Turner of Rix Bio Diesel.

Chicken fat is certainly proving to be renewable.

The supermarket chain Asda is going to use the fat from the thousands of chickens it cooks each week to power its lorries.

See also:

11 Sep 02 | Business
11 Jun 02 | Business
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