08.05.2017
Italy
Sector: LPG

Autogas beats diesel again

The world is falling out of love with diesels fast. In one of the latest instalments of the no-more-diesel saga, the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna encourages small businesses to ditch oil burners in favour of LPG-powered vehicles.
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A view of Bologna© The Planet DThe air above Bologna is clear and the new initiative is bound to keep it that way

Bread vans, postal vans and all sorts of light- and medium-duty delivery vehicles are traditionally powered by diesel engines. And that's not a good tradition, apparently, since the number of cities and regions banning or restricting use of diesel-powered cars is growing (including Paris, Madrid or Birmingham to name just a few). Emilia-Romagna's 30 regional municipalities have recently jumped the bandwagon, awarding funds to small businesses if they decide to replace commercial vehicles (up to 3,5 t gross weight) running on diesel with those powered with LPG or other form of alternative energy.

As usual, there are several conditions to be met for those small companies to be eligible to receive incentives. They have to be either headquartered in or at least operating in one of 30 regional municipalities of Emilia-Romagna subject to circulation restrictions as outlined by the Plan for quality air (Pair 2020) or, alternatively, based in Emilia-Romagna and with access pass to a restricted traffic zone in one of these municipalities. The initiative is aimed at getting Euro 3 diesels off the roads and replacing them with Euro 6 CNG or LPG bi-fuel vehicles, petrol-electric hybrids or EVs. And since gaseous fuel conversions are the easiest and most affordable to get, we already know which options will be the most popular.

The emissions from light diesel-powered vehicles are a major cause of production of fine dust. So we launch a concrete measure to improve the air quality, and we suggest this initiative to be extended to all regions of the Po Basin, so we can achieve larger results. It is one of more than 90 actions that the Plan for quality air expects to put in place by 2020 to halve the concentration of PM10 and cut from 64% to 1% the population exposed to more than 35 peaks per year.

Regional Councillor for the Environment Paola Gazzolo

Applicants can receive grants of up to 2500 euros, hopefully per each vehicle replaced. Micro and small companies will be given priority, with bigger business only considered if there are funds left. The list of applications was closed on April 21, with first grants awarded about now. We applaud the initiative whole-heartedly and hope other cities, regions and municipalities will soon follow with similar measures to improve local air quality.



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Robert Markowski
source: Regione Emilia-Romagna via auto-gas.net



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