Bi-Fuel cars running LPG and propane have been getting the buzz lately. Places such as Chrysler and Lancia in Europe, and also in the US as well, had companies that offer propane conversion kits to car owners. Propane has a few advantages than gasoline like it burns more cleanly, cheaper, and the like.
However, not everything is perfect. Despite its pros, LPG/propane still had a long way to go to become the best alternative when it comes to fuel. Here are five reasons why:
- As technology advances, inventors have been innovating our existing tech to cater our needs, and cars are no exception. Cars these days are driven by both hardware and software. What you’ll find under the hood are a bunch of electronics such as sensors, wires, connectors, and among others. All of these are calibrated, controlled, and driven by software that’s made by manufacturers. With that being said, this software is made to run on gasoline, not LPG or propane.
- Propane/LPG conversion is mostly featured on luxury sports cars. Why? Because converting a regular car can be very expensive. You might be thinking “But what if I’ll just convert an older car?” Yes, you can since older cars are easier to convert. However, it’s less reliable, older parts are harder to source, and it will take you a lot of time before getting the finished product. So if you ever found an affordable propane conversion kit on eBay for older cars, think again.
Propane is Limited in Range
- Propane has less range compared to the volume of fuel stored than cars running on gasoline. However, gasoline wins when it comes to heat energy per liter in fuel. We’re talking about converting an existing engine that’s been already optimized for gasoline. However, the first two disadvantages mentioned above is already enough for proof that it won’t be easy.
No Universal Connectors
- Say for example you successfully converted your car to run on LPG/propane fuel, everything is working fine and now it’s time to refuel. You head to the nearest propane fueling station until you realized that their nozzle won’t fit your tank. This isn’t an LPG/propane problem, but it’s about incompatibility. The lack of appropriate nozzles and universal connectors are one of the biggest challenges future fuels will face.
Tax Credit for Propane is Insane
- The government will cover 50% of the cost if you really want to convert your car to run on propane/LPG. However, they’ll only cover you about $500 for it which isn’t enough. If it was enough, you’ll see a lot of people these days happily converting their wheels into propane/LPG. Better stick with gasoline then.