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A new LPG Autogas Centre of Excellence has been opened in Victoria to meet the future needs of Australian fleet operators, after an ABMARC study identified demand for 160,000 new autogas vehicles between 2018 and 2025.

A joint initiative between Unigas, Prixcar and Sprint Gas, the Autogas Centre of Excellence will provide Australian fleet operators with direct access to a low-cost, high quality LPG installation service for new vehicles through port of entry or dealerships.

John Coggins, Senior Business Manager at Unigas said this is an important partnership that shows a strong commitment by the industry to support fleet operators that want to take advantage of the abundant supply, cost and environmental benefits of LPG.

“There is still a strong role for autogas in Australia. With local supply and national infrastructure including 2,700 autogas-enabled service stations, this cleaner fuel can provide strong fuel security and availability now and well into the future,” Mr Coggins said.

“This new facility provides a strict quality control at a similar standard to an OEM facility – with highly experienced autogas system designers, manufacturers and skilled vehicle fitters that streamline installation processes to ensure competitive conversion costs.”

13CABS is the first fleet operator to take advantage of the new facility, with an order currently underway to convert 100 new Toyota Camry Hybrid vehicles from petrol-electric to a tri-fuel system that uses LPG.

Greg Hardeman, Fleet Operations Manager at 13CABS said by installing a Sprint Gas Sequential Vapour Injection LPG system into new Toyota Camry Hybrids, the company is reducing carbon emissions further and minimising operating and maintenance costs.

“13CABS is committed to reducing emissions and improving air quality in the cities where we operate by encouraging cleaner alternative fuels and new technologies across our fleet,” Mr Hardeman said.

“While the Toyota Camry Hybrid with its petrol-electric drive is already one of the most economical cars in the market, with a tri-fuel system using LPG, the vehicle delivers even more environmental and cost benefits.”

In-use testing and calculations by 13CABS has shown the Toyota Camry Hybrid with LPG produces fuel cost savings of up to 45 percent, with a payback on conversion of just over six months. Switching to LPG also reduces carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 3.45 tonnes per vehicle. Figures are based on the average taxi travelling 150,000 kilometres per year.