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LPG vehicles could cut death toll

LPG vehicles could cut death toll

Fewer New Zealanders would die from poisonous vehicle emissions if the country used cleaner-burning transport fuels, says the company behind the LPG entrant in the Energy-Wise Rally.

Leading LPG wholesaler, Rockgas, says increasing the size of New Zealand’s LPG vehicle fleet would have a significant effect on vehicle emissions, which are responsible for a worrying toll of silent road deaths.

"Around 399 people over 30 die prematurely each year from vehicle-related pollution, according to a recent Ministry of Transport report*," Rockgas general manager, Owen Poole, said.

"You don’t expect to have that kind of problem in New Zealand, but it is a major and growing concern which highlights the scale of our vehicle emissions problem. We could cut that death toll by placing more emphasis on using cleaner transport fuels like LPG."

Rockgas has entered the only LPG vehicle in the Energy-Wise rally, which is organised by the Motor Industry Association to test the fuel economy and CO2 output of new cars.

Mr Poole said the company wants to draw attention to the significant public health and environmental benefits of cleaner-burning transport fuels, and demonstrate the performance and sophistication of modern LPG vehicles.

"The rally is an opportunity to remind New Zealanders that automotive LPG is the best mainstream option for motorists looking for cleaner-burning cars which cost less to run."

The Rockgas car is an LPG dedicated, four litre, automatic transmission Series 3 Falcon Forte. It has a 92 litre LPG fuel tank capacity and could drive non-stop from Auckland to Wellington without refuelling. The Forte is equipped with latest technology, computer managed LPG engine systems.

Overseas research indicates an LPG vehicle will produce 13-20% less greenhouse gases than a petrol equivalent. It also emits up to 95% less of the PM10s that are such a big problem with diesel vehicles and which are known causes of cancer.

"Putting 50,000 LPG cars on New Zealand roads could cut CO2 levels by around 150,000 tonnes a year," Mr Poole said.

*Health Effects due to Motor Vehicle Air Pollution in New Zealand – Report to the MoT, January 2002.

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