A Scottish police force has decided to scrap its fleet of environmentally friendly vehicles after manufacturers no longer provided them as readymade.
Lothian and Borders Police explained that it would become far too expensive for the force to convert its own vehicles to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) when companies ceased to provide them as factory fitted.
The force’s LPG fleet, at its peak, consisted of 45 to 50 Ford and Vauxhall LPG vehicles.
LPG, which is also known as Autogas, can be used as an alternative to petrol and diesel. It is thought to reduce carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide emissions. Fleet and Commercial Vehicles Scotland have reported that an average LPG-conversion system will cost around £2,500 per vehicle. However, LPG fuel is around 80p per litre, which makes it roughly 50p cheaper than the current price of petrol.
A police spokeswoman has been explaining: “Lothian and Borders Police stopped using LPG a few years ago. The cost implication was too great, particularly given that the cost of converting vehicles to LPG fell to the force after manufacturers stopped supplying them ready-made.”
LPG vans are not uncommon and many people may have looked to have converted their commercial vehicle to LPG in the past. This is something that you may need to declare to your commercial vehicle insurance company when arranging, or indeed renewing, your insurance quote.
In 2001/2002, after the roll out of a “green fleet”, Lothian and Borders Police’s annual public performance report stated the following: “The cars are more environmentally friendly, producing 75% less carbon monoxide and 85% less hydrocarbon emissions than petrol. LPG fuel is 70% cheaper than diesel and running costs will be reduced even further when more re-fuelling sites are available.”
Furthermore, Alison Johnstone, Green MSP for Lothian, has explained: “When it comes to low carbon, less-polluting vehicles in the public sector, the Scottish Government needs to move up a gear. It will continue to be difficult for public services to choose greener vehicles if SNP ministers fail to insist on it being the norm rather than a ‘nice to have’.”
Does your commercial vehicle run on LPG?