Autogas on the rise in Argentina
High and rising prices of conventional fuels are always a good motivator for motorists to convert their cars to run on LPG and it's true all over the world. South America has so far been associated with ethanol and CNG when it comes to alternative petrol and diesel substitutes, but apparently autogas is now gaining momentum, too. No wonder it is – at 8 pesos per litre autogas is less than half the price of petrol (17 pesos per litre). However, the price relation isn't the only reason for LPG to be on the up.
Several factors are combined. But it is noteworthy that the product has been widely tested and the market is gaining confidence. I know that the public is more informed, we no longer have to fight the myths that existed a couple of years ago. The prospects are very good because we are working with modern and self-adaptive technology and computers; we are placing toroidal tanks, in the space of the spare wheel.
Raúl Persoaglia, owner of an LPG conversion workshop and operator of autogas stations in the provinces of Corrientes, Formosa and Chaco
The number of cars running on autogas across the country isn't great at the moment, with approx. 2000 vehicles currently on the road. Most of them are used in the north-eastern parts of Argentina, where there are more refueling stations and conversion shops. And speaking of conversion, the procedure usually costs between 18 and 22 thousand pesos, which means it pays back within approx. 20 thousand kilometres (given a car needs 10 litres of petrol per 100 km).
The autogas industry in Argentina has already noticed the growing need for more LPG systems. There was some caution at first as it was unsure what policy the government would adopt concerning autogas, but since it became clear that the authorities endorse and support autogas, the sector is ready to move forward with investments and marketing, which means we should expect growth to accelerate further in the following months. We'll keep you updated when we learn more.
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