UK LPG shortage?

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Pinger
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UK LPG shortage?

#1 Post by Pinger »

Just came across this >> https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/cons ... 14_06_2022

The gist of which is that Dacia have withdrawn sales of LPG models in the UK because: ''The UK is currently experiencing a massive shortage of LPG, with a lack of deliveries being made due to ongoing driver shortages and core supply issues caused by the war in Ukraine.''

I haven't had to re-fuel recently but will be out and about soon and will need a few tankfulls - has anyone being experiencing reduced availability of LPG recently? Or is Dacia's decision possibly based on the previous shortage?

Gilbertd
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Re: UK LPG shortage?

#2 Post by Gilbertd »

There wasn't a shortage as such, just a problem with deliveries see viewtopic.php?t=19198 so although there was plenty of gas available the problems were down to domestic customers filling their tanks in anticipation of price rises and Flogas not having sufficient qualified drivers to deliver. It was then compounded by the nutters gluing themselves to the refinery gates to stop tankers from being able to get in. So you had a situation where the Flogas supplied stations weren't getting supplied due to domestic customers being prioritised, which increased demand at the stations supplied by others so they ran out quicker and had to wait for a delivery. One of my local Calor supplied filling stations were going through a tank full in about a week but it was taking over a week before they could get another delivery.

However, it is all back to near normal now with most stations having supplies. Those that did have supplies when others didn't decided to cash in on it and hiked their prices right up and some, although not all, have kept them high. Check out autogas.app for the up to date picture.
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Re: UK LPG shortage?

#3 Post by Brian_H »

Interestingly, they show it filling up on a Sainsburys forecourt in the photo. And I'd say it looks like London Colney by the car wash visible in the photo . Interesting only in so much as I've seen Dacia drivers been refused to allow to fillup at Sainsburys due to needing an adaptor.

Availability seems mostly ok - The local Shell occasionally runs out but is usually back on within a day of doing so now, whereas it had been out for around 2 months at the start of the year. Prices vary greatly though depending where you are, I've filled up at anything between 66.9 and 104.9 recently

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Re: UK LPG shortage?

#4 Post by Pinger »

Thanks guys. Problem is past its worst it seems.

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Re: UK LPG shortage?

#5 Post by Gilbertd »

It also has nothing to do with Ukraine either (although it's always good to blame the Russians for something), as LPG is a by product of petrol refining and it's diesel that we import not petrol.
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Avensist
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Re: UK LPG shortage?

#6 Post by Avensist »

Or it could be that Dacia's LPG system has issues. I remember in early 2000s couple of these types were offered by various car manufacturers, Vialle system were retro fitted if I remember correctly and that had issues which most dealers not equipped or trained to deal with. Consequently, car manufacturers offered LPG models as a listed model it was more trouble than it's worth plus the termination of the powershift grant hit the nail in the coffin and they all pulled out.

Dacia may have taken this opportunity, blamed Russia and ended it.

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Re: UK LPG shortage?

#7 Post by Gilbertd »

But they are still selling them in Europe, it's only in the UK they aren't taking orders for them. Their press release says there's only 368 filling stations in the UK yet the MyLPG.eu site shows 554. Still pretty pathetic compared with France, which has removed a few in the last year or so, with 1468 and Germany with 6195.

One thing I noticed a couple of weeks ago when I drove to Sweden and back is that virtually every filling station in Germany has LPG, quite a high number also have CNG, a couple have H2 and some even have EV charging points! Best one I saw was in the Netherlands, LPG, CNG, H2 and EV charging, no petrol or diesel at all. Just goes to show how much better other European countries are. Admittedly Sweden isn't one of them, despite Volvo offering LPG as a factory fit. Only 76 filling stations for the whole country and all bar a tiny handful of those are places on industrial areas where you take your gas bottle to be refilled. No proper pump as such, just a hose, and only open 10:00-17:00 Monday to Friday. No good to anyone when driving through the night......
96 Saab 900XS, AEB Leo, sold
93 Range Rover 4.2LSE, Lovato LovEco, sold
97 Range Rover 4.0SE, multipoint, sold
98 Ex-Police Range Rover 4.0, AEB Leo, daily motor
96 Range Rover 4.6HSE Ascot, AEB Leo, my spare


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Avensist
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Re: UK LPG shortage?

#8 Post by Avensist »

Very interesting. Didn't know Germany was so big on LPG. I thought they were more diesel focused due to German car brands investing heavily on diesel technology. It would be nice to have that sort of LPG filling points here, just drive and fill up with LPG without having to plan where to fill up!

I know EV has to come at some point, but still have many obstacles to tackle so until then, LPG is the way to go yet governent don't seem to get it. Don't know what those black cabs that were converted to run on LPG has to deal with...

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Re: UK LPG shortage?

#9 Post by Brian_H »

Avensist wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 9:03 pm Very interesting. Didn't know Germany was so big on LPG. I thought they were more diesel focused due to German car brands investing heavily on diesel technology. It would be nice to have that sort of LPG filling points here, just drive and fill up with LPG without having to plan where to fill up!

I know EV has to come at some point, but still have many obstacles to tackle so until then, LPG is the way to go yet governent don't seem to get it. Don't know what those black cabs that were converted to run on LPG has to deal with...
A 35 mile range if they are on petrol, as the tank is tiny. Spoken to a few of them across the pump at London Gateway services. They only have a limited license life left in most of them though.

LPG doesn't stop anyone who wants to go electric, though I'm not convinced the battery model currently favoured is whats going to be the long term fix they are making out it is. Time will tell.

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Re: UK LPG shortage?

#10 Post by Gilbertd »

Avensist wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 9:03 pm I thought they were more diesel focused due to German car brands investing heavily on diesel technology.
They produced what the public had been told by Governments what they should have. Carbon Dioxide is a greenhouse gas so is not a good thing, a diesel engine produces less CO2 than the equivalent petrol engine so it is a good thing. Until you realise that all the other @!## a diesel chucks out of the tailpipe is far worse of course.....
Avensist wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 9:03 pm I know EV has to come at some point, but still have many obstacles to tackle so until then, LPG is the way to go yet government don't seem to get it. Don't know what those black cabs that were converted to run on LPG has to deal with...
Problem here is that Government policy is dictated to by 'experts' that advise them and LPG isn't mainstream so doesn't get a mention. However, I give battery electric vehicles 10 years at most. The cost, both financial and environmental, of producing the batteries, their limited life and the difficulty in disposing of them at end of life, will cause them fall from favour. Particularly when it was Toyota that brought electric and hybrid vehicles to the mainstream with the Prius, they have now produced the Mirai. It's an EV but powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. It does 300-350 miles on a fill, takes no more time to fill than a petrol car and the only thing that comes out of the tailpipe is water. I was speaking to a motoring journalist recently and I said to him that I could see it being the way forward. He'd actually driven one and said that the most surprising thing was it was so normal. With a bit more work, it should be possible to make a conventional ICE run on Hydrogen too. Hopefully, the 'experts' will listen and a refuelling network will evolve. It might even make more people aware of other alternative fuels, such as LPG, too.
96 Saab 900XS, AEB Leo, sold
93 Range Rover 4.2LSE, Lovato LovEco, sold
97 Range Rover 4.0SE, multipoint, sold
98 Ex-Police Range Rover 4.0, AEB Leo, daily motor
96 Range Rover 4.6HSE Ascot, AEB Leo, my spare


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Avensist
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Re: UK LPG shortage?

#11 Post by Avensist »

It's sad about those licence life etc. All in the name of health and safety and someone along the way makes money with the detriment to the consumer.

The other day on the news that Toyota is experimenting with hydrogen engine (not fuel cell as such). Already had the Gt86 running on hydrogen but the engineers were saying still quite a long way before production.

So all in all, and the short term and most cost effective way is still LPG yet it's only us that see it.

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Re: UK LPG shortage?

#12 Post by Brian_H »

From what was said about the licneses a TX2 is due to expire in the next 18 months or so (possbily less). But the conversion fitted to a TX2 can be removed (engine and lpg kit) and installed into a TX4 which is currently diesel. To comply with the required standards it needs to be done by an approved installer though (this is for TFL in this case) else it won't get a license. I'm not sure of the difference between a TX2 and a TX4 other than I think the TX4 is newer and has some more features (Air-con being one possibility, again not sure as trying to remember what was said).

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Re: UK LPG shortage?

#13 Post by Avensist »

I wonder how those converted cabbie drivers coping with the filling station issue. Surely due to the increase in numbers they got to have more filling stations but seems to be going the opposite....

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Re: UK LPG shortage?

#14 Post by Brian_H »

Petrol can in the boot seemed to be the answer there. Lack of any other real choice. London area has lost a fair few lpg stations, One I was speaking to lived in Hemel and was asking where else was about, doesn't seem anywhere about that wasn't on Filllpg or Autogas.app and at the time very few places had any at all anyway due to the flogas delivery issues.

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Re: UK LPG shortage?

#15 Post by Avensist »

Really sympathise with them. Tfl should do something really. After all, they are the one who pushed the cabbies to go LPG and they've already paid a huge amount to have the conversion. Tlf run filling station or something that public can also use would be nice

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Re: UK LPG shortage?

#16 Post by LPGC »

It doesn't concern me if Daewoo stop selling LPG Dacia's in the UK, there were no factory LPG converted vehicles for many years yet I kept busy converting vehicles to LPG and forecourts remained open. It is annoying if they under-quote the number of filling stations in the UK and use that as an excuse... especially if the true reason turns out to be something more like their dealers are clueless at working on LPG systems or have some self-imposed red tape about working on them in their dealerships.

Flogas reckon they will deliver bottled gas (red bottles) to home customers. Those most likely to run home heating on LPG live out in the sticks. Those most likely not to have a nearby LPG forecourt to refuel vehicles with LPG are also most likely to live out in the sticks. If I lived out in the sticks and didn't have a nearby LPG forecourt I'd be wondering if I could get some delivered to my door and buy a pump to refuel my vehicle from red bottles. At one time the cost of bottled LPG was higher than from forecourts except for some very cheap 47kg bottles. These days the price of LPG in some 47kg bottles is around the same as buying from a forecourt.

I don't think I'd be running a taxi on petrol ;-)

But the fuel crisis is over anyway? Are taxi drivers still struggling to fill up?
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Re: UK LPG shortage?

#17 Post by Brian_H »

Not at the moment, I think those that had converted theirs had little choice but to use petrol. Though petrol was around £1.30 then, not the £1.70+ it currently is.

As long as flogas keep the gas flowing it should be fine!

As for understating the number of forecourts, totally agree. Though the whole industry does itself no favours by making it more difficult than it should be to locate filling stations.

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Re: UK LPG shortage?

#18 Post by Pinger »

If battery end-of-life disposal becomes viable, the replacement cost for a vehicle probably only 8-10 years old can be stomached by its owner, and battery production and recharging is all from renewables then maybe EVs have a long future. A lot of uncertainties there though.

Hydrogen storage is such a problem that I doubt its future.
Stored in industrial cylinders at 175 bar the tare weight of the tank is 100kg for each kg of hydrogen contained in it. 1kg of hydrogen has the equivalent fuel value of around 3 litres of petrol. Toyota manage better by compressing to 700 bar and containing 5kg in a tank weighing in at just shy of 100kg. It is made of carbon fibre and along with the high cost of fuel cells (due to material content) may explain why Autocar reckon Toyota are subsidising the Mirai purchase price to the tune of £15-20,000.
With that sort of storage difficulty fuel cell - not ICE - efficiency (circa 50% vs 25-35%) is essential and ICE on hydrogen has enough of its own problems.

For ICE bio-fuels must surely be the answer but requires an end to crops grown merely to feed animals for the human food chain. Apart from supposed 'food insecurity' as a bar there appears to be no discussion of the potential bio-fuels - odd, as they may become necessary merely to prevent rotting vegetation creating CO2 when left to its own devices.

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