Whether you are a heavily taxed company car driver in central London and the other 37 city centres dreading the onset of congestion charging, or a cost conscious private motorist elsewhere in the UK eager to minimise fuel costs, it makes sense to buy a bi-fuel Proton.
Powered by a frugal, efficient and reliable 1.6 litre four cylinder 16 valve petrol engine, the Lotus inspired Proton Impian four door saloon is already one of the cleanest and most economical full-size family cars on sale in the UK market – with a CO2 rating of just 160.9 g/km, a combined fuel consumption figure of 42.2 mpg and reduced Band D (£120) road tax.
The potential savings for anyone converting their Impian to also run on LPG are even greater. The even cleaner bi-fuel Impian has a band 4 emissions grading, exempting it from city centre congestion charges to be launched in London next March and by many other local authorities before the end of 2003.
Exemption from congestion charging that will cost London-bound company car drivers and private motorists alike £5 per day is just one of the cost and tax saving benefits of LPG, which reduces CO2 and other noxious emissions by at least 50 per cent.
The cost of refuelling with LPG at more than 1,300 filling points now open around the UK is around half the price of petrol and the government has demonstrated its commitment to a cleaner environment by placing a freeze of LPG fuel duty until 2004.
Equally good news for Proton owners is the eligibility of the Impian for a grant of 60 per cent under the government sponsored PowerShift scheme towards the cost of LPG conversion. That means that the system can be installed for less than £1,000.
Proton’s smaller Wira four and five door range is also eligible for a PowerShift grant, with 50 per cent funding towards the cost of LPG conversion. Over120 bi-fuel Wira saloons and 10 bi-fuel Impians are in daily use with Humberside Police.
Annual savings of £200,000 now being made by this constabulary following the progressive conversion of its entire vehicle fleet to bi-fuel operation have proved influential in securing a contract from a government department for 25 Proton Wira models.
The contract has been placed through LPG AutoCentre Network Ltd, which has converted the Wiras to run on LPG as well as petrol. This initiative is expected to lead to a wider adoption of bi-fuel vehicles by the public sector.
For larger fleet users, the potential savings on fuel costs can be substantially increased by installing their own gas bunkering facilities, reducing the cost of LPG to as little as 15p per litre.Published 4 October 2002