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12.02.2014
Czech Republic
Sector: CNG

CNG and E85 keep petrol in Czech

Expensive conventional fuels have encouraged the Czech to change their driving habits. Some of them actually use their cars less, others plan their routes more precisely and seek cheaper alternative fuels. No wonder the market for the latter thrives.
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Fuel prices in Czech Republic© gazeo.comE85 provides decent savings, but LPG, generally priced at half the rate for petrol, pays back even better

Fuel retailers are facing a problem – the demand for petrol has dropped by a whopping 25 (twenty-five!) percent over the past five years and by 7 percent between 2012 and 2013 only. Translating these rates into numbers means the Czech buy 500 million litres of petrol less than they used to five years ago. Which doesn't necessary go to show they abandon their cars altogether – many vehicles are converted to run on cheaper and greener substitutes to regular fuel.

E85 – bioethanol blended with 15 percent of petrol – is one of the alternatives proving popular in Czech. While petrol costs 36 crowns (approx. 1,8 dollars) pre litre on average, the alcohol-based fuel (generally by some 10 crowns/l cheaper) allows drivers to save some 500 crowns per single fill-up. Since a conversion costs anywhere between 4 and 10 thousand crowns, it's easy to see 8 to 20 fill-ups are enough to break even. And then? Then all that's left to do is to sit back and watch the pile of savings grow wildly!

The drop in conventional fuel demand is also partially caused by companies – both privately-owned and public ones – since they too seek savings and turn to cheaper fuels to reduce running costs. For instance, the Czech Post has ordered as many as 1500 CNG-powered vehicles in hope of slashing the corporate fuel bill by half! And this is just a single example...

While large numbers of individual, private drivers making the switch to E85, CNG or LPG to save some cash come as little surprise anywhere in the world, the fact that state-owned companies care enough to convert their fleets in order to save public money is truly remarkable. But as we learn from numerous case studies from all over the globe, alternative fuels serve all equally well and provide savings to pretty much anyone willing to use them, including police forces. Now the small mid-European country sets another example worth following!



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Robert Markowski
source: GNV Magazine, own information



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