Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)-powered vehicles should be exempted from the congestion charge in London as its emissions are â€˜significantly lowerâ€™ compared to petrol and diesel fuels, according to LPG supplier Autogas Ltd.
Cars fuelled by LPG were originally exempted from the congestion charge, but Transport for London (TfL) phased out the Alternative Fuel Discount from 2010.
However, LPG supplier Autogas Ltd â€“ a joint venture between petrol firms Shell and Calor â€“ today (July 16) called for the re-introduction of incentives for LPG users in order to help improve Londonâ€™s air quality.
According to Autogas, emissions of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter PM2.5 from LPG vehicles are up to 80% lower and 98% lower than diesel vehicles respectively.
It follows the news yesterday (July 15) that the number of estimated premature deaths from air pollution in the capital â€“ around 9,400 â€“ is almost twice that previously thought (see AirQualityNews.com story).
General manager at Autogas, Linda Gomersall, said: â€œThese latest figures are incredibly worrying and show that immediate action is required by the Mayorâ€™s office to protect the health and save the lives of those living and travelling into the city.â€
She added: â€œIn the past, incentives were available to those converting to LPG. Motorists travelling into the Capital on autogas LPG were also rewarded for taking the cleaner option by receiving a 100 percent discount from the congestion charge.
â€œHowever, since the Mayorâ€™s office removed this discount and the wider conversion incentive was withdrawn, many drivers fail to consider this cleaner alternative, often going back to more heavily polluting diesels. By re-introducing the discount for LPG powered cars and offering conversion incentives once again, many motorists will be encouraged back to the cleaner fuel and we can start making an immediate improvement in Londonâ€™s air quality.â€
150,000 drivers across the UK drive Autogas LPG fuelled vehicles, the firm claims, which as well as emitting lower NO2 and PM2.5, can also cut motoristsâ€™ fuel bills by up to 40%. LPG drivers are able to refuel at more than 1,400 forecourt locations across the UK, Autogas added.
Linda Gomersall said: â€œAutogas has a vital role to play in helping clean up our environment. Earlier this week the London Assembly announced a number of recommendations to help improve air quality but treating LPG in a similar manner to other low polluting fuel sources with discounts and incentives would help make an immediate improvement.â€