Local company introduces gas cars
© A LOCAL company has successfully integrated LP gas into petrol engines, giving motorists an option to switch between the two fuel sources amid the crippling petroleum shortages in the country.
Intergas, a local company formed in 2017, is converting petrol-run cars to enable them to also run on LP gas. “We are converting petrol-run cars into LP gas cars for efficiency and diversity. We are not totally dismantling the petrol system, but we are simply adding a gas system to the cars to diversify fuel options,” Intergas operations manager Gift Chitanda told the Daily News.
He was quick to point out that enabling cars to be able run on either gas or petrol was not a new phenomenon. “The technology has been there globally for over a century, but it is the first of its kind in Zimbabwe and it will help mitigate climate change and cut costs for Zimbabweans,” he said. Chitanda said using gas was a cheaper option than petrol.
“On global market, if you look at the price of petrol and that of gas you will see that petrol is twice the price of gas . . .
“Considering the current fuel shortages in the country and the economic outlook, the cost side is a no brainer at all plus the use of gas will save the country’s petrol demand by half.
“In terms of engine, our research has showed that gas burns clean, it is a cleaner fuel hence reducing the carbon footprint and prolonging engine life as well as improve service mileage,” he said.
According to the company’s marketing manager Ivy Chibanda, the hybrid fuel system can be installed on existing ex-Japanese vehicles and other vehicles with minor tweaks being done to the engine to allow the use of LPG as a fuel.
“You bring your car for assessment first and we do not necessarily remove the petrol system but we are adding on the LPG system which at any given time you can switch from back to petrol,” Chibanda said, adding that the conversion price ranges from US$700 to US$1 300.
Chibanda said Intergas, which she claimed was working with European technicians on converting petrol cars to LP gas ones, has five pilot cars which they were monitoring closely in a bid to gather data on efficiency.
Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority acting chief executive officer Eddington Mazambani said the energy regulator was aware of the technology.
“This is something that we are well aware of, not particularly what is happening at Intergas. We are in tune with what is going on. The technology is not new at all, but it is very possible,” Mazambani said.