LPG in Scandinavia: it's a gås!
When it comes to Scandinavia in terms of autogas, let us first make it clear that we are not going to mention Finland. LPG is virtually absent from the Finnish market or, to be more specific, it is not available to individual drivers. So, if you are going to the homeland of Saint Nick and love metal, be aware that using petrol is a sad necessity. And if Sweden or Norway are your destinations, be prepared to fill up by yourself, as self-service is standard. Unless you are used to it already.
Thorough planning of your trip across Norway in an LPG-powered car is definitely something worth considering, for filling stations are few and far between. Truth be told, getting any fuel is not particularly easy anyway – up North stations can be as far as over 100 km away from each other. And if you are lucky enough to find one, you might (and probably will) find prices are higher than down South. Also, most stations close down by 10 PM or midnight at the latest. All in all, if you find a fuel retailer, fill up like there is no tomorrow! The entire autogas refueling network comprises only 140 locations, the northernmost of them being Alta, Nordreisa and Tromsø.
There is a silver lining, however. Up North, where population is so sparse you can speak of square kilometres per person rather than people per square kilometre, autogas can still be obtained. Of course, planning is more important than sheer luck (know where the station is, do not just count on encountering one), but once you find an LPG retailer, you will be able to refuel at 45% the price of petrol. Taking a slightly longer route certainly becomes something worth the effort. Especially if you think of the views outside your window and the savings you will eventually make.
In Norway, Dutch bayonet filling valve nozzles are standard, although Italian dish ones are sometimes used, too. Most stations have their own adapters, but bringing your own one seems like a good idea, since buying one in Norway means spending the likes of 300 Norwegian crowns (roughly 40 euros). If a station has pumps with both types of nozzles, signs inform drivers of which side to approach the pump from. Clever! Fuels are rather costly in general. LPG is 6,81 crowns (close to 1 euro/l), petrol costs 15,41 crowns (approx. 2 euros/l) and diesel – 14,15 crowns. But if you go there, you will have to spend some money on fuel anyway, so take the time to find LPG as often as possible. Addresses of stations can be found here, here and here. For up-to-date fuel prices across Europe, visit this site.
Even though the homeland of ABBA, Ikea and Astrid Lindgren is generally associated with biomethane rather than LPG, autogas as we know it is also available. Just be careful, for autogas is called gasol over in Sweden, so if you see the word on a board announcing a filling station within reasonable distance, do not waste the chance to use it. After all, there are as few as 35 LPG retailers across the country, so if you miss one, there might be no other anywhere near.
As for prices, autogas costs 9 Swedish crowns (slightly above 1 euro/l), whereas petrol is priced at 14,23 crowns/l. This means autogas is over 60% the price of petrol, but it still pays (if you manage to find it, that is). Need maps? See here, here and here. For lists, go here or here. Be aware stations may be open very irregularly, e. g. between 7 AM and 10 PM, 1 to 5 PM or 7 AM to 4 PM, so, wherever possible, check their availability.
Driving to Scandinavia may be the adventure of a lifetime. If you enjoy avoiding crowded resorts and sunbathing on a sandy beach, consider a northbound holiday. Think of LPG as a practical, not necessarily inevitable addition on top of the journey itself, but if you manage to use autogas along your entire journey, the better for you!
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