South Korea
Sector: LPG

Autogas released in Korea

South Korea is one of the largest autogas markets in the world. Come to think of it, it's quite surprising given the restrictions on access to LPG-powered vehicles. Only recently have they been lifted, finally making the fuel widely available.
A fleet of Korean LPG-powered taxis© auto-gas.netSoon taxis won't be the only vehicles allowed to run on autogas in South Korea. About time, isn't it?

Until January 2017 the use of autogas-fueled cars was limited to taxis and other public service fleets, with individual drivers (who could benefit from LPG the most) excluded. However, a new regulation has been introduced which allows anyone to own and drive a car running on autogas, although still with certain limitations.

Buying a used LPG-powered car will now be possible to the general public, but only if the vehicle has been registered for at least five years. A five-year-old car may sometimes be as good as new, but it's still the next best thing – purchasing a brand new car running on autogas will still be beyond Koreans' reach, at least for some time. Perhaps in a while all restrictions will be lifted, but at least it's a step in the right direction. Meanwhile, car rental services offer their customers ways of circumventing the current regulations – long-term rental, with the option to own the vehicle after five years.

Korea LPG industries welcome this revision. It will decisively contribute to the net increase of LPG cars by releasing about 30 thousand cars for purchase every year. It will be a breakthrough for LPG businesses that have been affected by decreased demand.

general manager of the Korean LPG Association

And why was the restriction introduced in the first place? It was designed to keep the fuel tax system balanced, which is probably another way of saying more autogas used means less taxes paid. Letting motorists decide what fuel they wish to use is a better solution in the long run, though, and lifting restrictions may encourage people to drive more, thus supplying more fuel tax money to the budget. Let's wait and see how the new regulation affects end-year autogas consumption figures – will South Korea ascend the charts again?


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Robert Markowski
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