25.11.2020

On the risks of converting gasoline cars to gas

Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov supported the proposal of the Minister of Energy, Alexander Novak, to increase subsidies for the transfer of cars from gasoline to gas. Authorities have previously stimulated the use of gas as fuel for cars, covering 30% of the cost of refitting the vehicle. Now it is proposed to increase the subsidy to 60%, and Gazprom will pay another 30%. The benefits of using gas cylinders are savings. That’s just the cylinders explode easily, and finding a gas station is not so simple.

Minister Novak presented a 90% discount on the purchase of gas equipment in a car as a measure to support the population and business in a crisis. At the same time, Gazprom will cover part of the costs through marketing programs of its subsidiary Gazprom Gazotomotoronoye Fuel, the main supplier of gas for transport.

As explained by the Minister of Energy, the transition to compressed natural gas (CNG) can reduce the cost of car owners by 60-65% compared with the use of gasoline and diesel. In his letter, the grant is proposed to be extended to small and medium-sized businesses, as well as to the self-employed. The state program for the development of the gas engine industry has been operating for several years.

From 2020 to 2024, it is planned to allocate 50 billion rubles for these purposes. Of these, 3.5 billion rubles will be allocated for the construction of gas filling stations in 27 test regions. According to Novak, motorists participating in the program will be able to save 4-5 billion rubles on fuel in three years, the cost of transportation services will decrease, and service enterprises will create jobs for installing gas equipment.

Last year, Gazprom chairman Viktor Zubkov said that gas consumption over the past five years has grown 2.5 times. “The use of gas-fueled vehicles for commercial purposes is indeed much more profitable. Moreover, the problem of harmful emissions is still being solved: gas-powered engines are 80% more environmentally friendly, in terms of harmful emissions, such engines fulfill the requirements of Euro-6 gasoline, ”says Pavel Sigal, First Vice President of Opora Rossii.

At the same time, the share of gas-fueled vehicles in Russia is only 5% of the total fleet. We are talking about machines in which a gas or dual-fuel engine is installed by design. How many cars have been converted for gas cylinders and whether legal way – is not taken into account anywhere.

Gas engines have always been popular with taxi drivers and in the field of logistics. For those who, on duty, wind up hundreds of kilometers, using NGV fuel becomes cost-effective. However, there is a big problem – there are not very many gas stations in Russia. In March, there were 484, of which 329 belong to Gazprom. For comparison: there are about 600 conventional gas stations only within the MKAD, and in total there are more than 15 thousand of them in the country.

“When the problem of the shortage of gas refueling is resolved, and the government plans to build them at 100-200 per year, the program for the conversion to NGV will be in demand among entrepreneurs,” Segal predicts.

Re-equipment of one car costs from 80 to 100 thousand rubles. Given these costs, switching the car to gas paid for itself with a range of 20 thousand kilometers. With a discount of 90%, profitability will increase significantly. In general, gas stations cost 3 times cheaper than gasoline. An average of 10 rubles is charged per liter of liquefied motor gas. At the same time, Novak talked about saving 1.7 times. He probably took into account the cost of conversion.

There is another serious risk in the use of NGV fuel – gas cylinders, especially if improperly installed, explode very easily. You can meet the converted taxi cars, where the cylinder is installed in the trunk. If they crash into such a car from behind, fires cannot be avoided. “There are two types of gas – propane-butane mixtures and compressed methane. The first is used in minibuses, taxis.

But the cylinders for compressed methane are very heavy, you can’t put them on a passenger car, she cannot carry herself. Methane refueling is very dangerous: the pressure is high, constant checks are required, and the slightest errors lead to explosions, deaths. Although Gazprom has been actively promoting this topic for many years, it is doomed to failure, ”said Rustam Tankaev, member of the committee on energy strategy and development of the fuel and energy complex of the CCI.

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