Fleet News

Fleets begin trials of gas vehicles

OPERATORS throughout Britain have begun to study the long-term effectiveness of gas-powered vehicles, following the spring Budget boost for autogas as a cleaner alternative road fuel. Fleets are expected to be given further incentives to trial compressed natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas as a result of the Government's forthcoming integrated transport policy white paper, due to be published this month.

Fleet NewsNet has followed the industry's moves into the green arena from day one, and has itself been involved in appraising a bi-fuel vehicle since February. Now, commercial vehicle rental company Northgate Motor Holdings is to gauge the benefits of gas by test-driving an LPG-powered Ford Transit for the next six months. Northgate's LPG Transit will be tested on its performance in terms of fuel consumption, driveability, steering, oil consumption and deterioration, and filter performance.

Ford has delivered three CNG Couriers, six LPG Couriers, five CNG Transit 80s, eight LPG Transit 100s, one LPG Transit 100, a CNG Transit 120, one LPG Transit 120, a CNG Transit 190 and one LPG Transit 190 for trials. Escort vans are suitable for conversion to bi-fuel, but are not included in Ford's gas demonstration fleet. Vauxhall has developed LPG versions of the Combo and Astravan range fitted with 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre petrol/gas engines.

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