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Govt backing urged for LPG vehicles

From the LPG Association & the MTA

Govt backing urged for LPG vehicles

The New Zealand Government should follow Australia's lead and actively encourage high mileage drivers to use LPG, the LPG Association and the Motor Trade Association said today.

Doing so would cut fuel costs for motorists and help significantly to reduce our growing vehicle emission problems, LPG Association executive director, Peter Gilbert, said.

The Australian Government announced yesterday subsidies of up to AUS$2,000 to assist motorists to convert vehicles to LPG.

Mr Gilbert said automotive LPG already receives favourable excise tax treatment in New Zealand, and he acknowledged the importance of this ongoing Government support.

However, most New Zealanders did not know the Government endorsed automotive LPG this way and he is calling for it to take a more pro-active approach to encouraging motorists to switch fuels.

"Tacit support is great, but New Zealand motorists now need more than that. We hope that, like its Australian counter-part, our Government takes this opportunity to send a very strong message to the market about the value LPG offers."

Automotive LPG is best suited to high mileage drivers and larger-engined fleet vehicles doing over 40,000 kms pa.

Both Ford and Holden offer factory-fitted, dedicated or dual fuel, LPG cars. The premium price for LPG-capable cars over the equivalent petrol-only models can be recovered in as little as six months, depending on annual mileage.

The MTA operates a national network of accredited LPG installers who are trained on modern engine management systems and who provide vehicle servicing.

"MTA members can provide after-market LPG conversions for most makes and models, or can advise on suitability for older vehicles," said MTA project management, environment, Trevor Burling.

He said the environmental 'savings' from LPG are also significant.

LPG cars cut CO2 emissions by between 10-15% compared with petrol cars, and they reduce significantly the level of other noxious pollutants, including particulates.

"LPG vehicles are by far the best strategic solution for the medium term," Mr Burling said.

"New vehicle technologies will eventually become commercially available but that's still 10-15 years away.

"In the meantime, LPG is a valuable transport fuel and the New Zealand Government should encourage motorists to switch to it."

LPG is available at over 600 service stations nationwide.

ENDS

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