Now the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association is to lobby the Government to meet that commitment and wants company car drivers with gas-powered cars to be given a reduction in BIK tax bills.
Director general Tom Fiddell said: 'We will lobby for the Government to make a commitment to provide a 6% reduction in their BIK bills. The Government has committed to providing a discount. We need to know what it will be. It should give a firm boost to the fleet operator choosing gas in 2002 and if we can get that commitment in the next few months it will allow choice lists to give consideration to the gas option.
'Not only will gas car users enjoy a reduced tax bill because they emit less CO2 than petrol, but they'll receive a double-boost through the discount.'
With a 6% discount, the BIK paid by a basic rate taxpayer in 2002/3 driving a dual fuel company car could be up to £170 a year less than for a mainstream upper medium model.
Initial signs of the Government acquiescing to its request look positive. At the LPGA Gas 2000 exhibition in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, local MP and Treasury select committee member James Paskitt said: 'The Government recognises there needs to be a good medium term
commitment to autogas. We are looking to give the right initiative.'
The March Budget statement from the Government said: 'Cars that are propelled by alternative fuels have the potential to offer significant environmental benefits. These cars also tend to be more expensive so employees could potentially face a higher tax liability. Therefore following consultation, discounts expressed as a percentage of the car's price will be introduced to mitigate the impact of their higher price.'