New LPG-powered Mazdas find favour with fleets
The company reports that it has seen an increase in Mazda6 sales to UK fleets who intend to convert the car to liquefied petroleum gas, with the expectation of significantly more orders in the pipeline.
Mazda6 LPG conversions have already joined the fleet of the LPG Division of BP. Additionally, Mazda3 and Mazda6 models have been ordered by Calor Gas for conversion while Gleaner Oils has three Mazda3 models on order. Mazda is also in talks with a number of other organisations about supplying cars for LPG conversion purposes.
The aftermarket conversions are all being carried out by Prins Autogas UK, which has two in-house conversion centres in the West Midlands and Southampton.
The company, which also operates a Mazda6 LPG car, is the UK distributor of Prins Autogas Systems, which is owned by Dutch company SHV Gas, which also owns Calor Gas in the UK.
Mazda fleet and remarketing director Peter Allibon said: 'Prins Autogas UK undertook the conversion work on behalf of BP after the company ordered its first Mazda models.
'They were so delighted with the conversion and the styling of the model that they contacted Mazda to say they would like to undertake other conversion work in the future. That triggered significant interest from a number of fleets, including Calor Gas and Gleaner Oils, and we are in talks with a number of other businesses interested in taking delivery of LPG-converted Mazdas.'
While demand for LPG car has shrunk since the Government withdrew grants, Prins UK reports continued demand in the fleet sector due to the cost benefits. The company said: 'Conversions cost £1,500 to £2,000 depending on model. LPG remains significantly cheaper than petrol and businesses will recoup the after-market conversion costs, in most cases, within 18 months.'
Average UK fuel prices currently, according to website petrolprices.com are, 128.72p a litre for unleaded petrol, 133.64p a litre for diesel and 76.35p a litre for LPG.
Retro-fit conversions can be carried out on petrol-engined Mazda3 1.6 and 2.0-litre models and petrol-engined Mazda6 1.8, 2.0 and 2.5-litre models.
Environmental benefits include a 10 percent well-to-wheel reduction in CO2 emissions versus both petrol and diesel-engined cars, a 99 percent reduction in particulate matter when compared with diesel-engined cars and a 95 percent saving in nitrogen oxide (NOx) in comparison with diesel-engined cars.
Mr Allibon added: 'LPG can provide clear financial fuel savings and environmental benefits, both of which are crucial to fleets with the business focus very much on cost management and carbon footprint reduction.'