LPG and other fuels
As petrol prices rise in Western Australia, it is expected that the use of alternative fuels will increase substantially in the coming years and decades. Here, you will find information on alternative fuel options.
LPG powered vehicles
Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) emits less carbon dioxide than petrol and can cut your fuel bill by up to a third. Before you commence vehicle fuel system modifications, such as an LPG conversion, you may require approval from the Department.
Getting your vehicle modified
Find out what modifications you can undertake to a light vehicle in Western Australia without approval from the Department, and what to do when approval is required.
LPG cylinder inspections
Australian standards require LPG containers to be inspected and tested every 10 years by a licensed auto gas fitter. The test expiry date showing the month and year is stamped on the gas container. Out of date gas containers must not be filled until tested and re-stamped at a certified test station.
If the 10 year certification period will expire before the next regular vehicle service, arrangements should be made for the gas container to be re-inspected and re-stamped at a certified gas cylinder test station as soon as possible.
The Road Traffic (Vehicles) Regulations 2014 requires the owners of LPG vehicles to display a special label fixed to the front and rear number plates that is:
- Made of durable material; and
- At least 25 mm wide and 25 mm high; and
- Reflective red conforming to AS 1742-1975 Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices, Appendix C, Class 2; and
- Marked 'LPGAS' or 'LPG', or with words or acronyms to similar effect, in capital letters at least 6 mm high.
If the vehicle is powered by dual fuel (LPG and petrol or diesel), then only one label per number plate is required. However, if the vehicle has more than one LPG tank installed (sole fuel source is LPG), then two labels are required per number plate.
Replacement LPG identifiers can be purchased from auto gas fitters.
Other types of alternative fuels
|Alcohols||Methanol, ethanol and other fuels containing alcohol can be produced from forest raw materials or agricultural products. Australian studies have been carried out on the impact of E10 and E20 (10% and 20% ethanol fuels respectively)|
|Bio fuels||There are other renewable fuels, known as biodiesel, which are derived from a variety of biological sources such as tallow, canola or soya beans. Biodiesel is usually sold mixed with petro-diesel. Although it is sometimes sold in Europe unmixed, five per cent, 10 per cent or 20 per cent blends are more common. Biodiesel is also used as a lubricant additive in low sulphur diesels. One or two per cent biodiesel improves the fuel's lubricant quality considerably.|
|Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)||Compressed Natural Gas is currently a more viable option than LNG in the short to medium term. The infrastructure required can be set up relatively cheaply compared with LNG.|
|Fuel cells||There are many forms of fuel cells currently being investigated, but those that use hydrogen as a fuel are the most prominent. Hydrogen fuel cells work by a controlled reaction between hydrogen and oxygen, releasing energy in the form of electricity. Research is currently being conducted by major vehicle manufacturers and research institutions around the world.|
|Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)||Liquefied Natural Gas has potential, but its use is currently limited due to the lack of supporting infrastructure for refuelling.|
|Solar power||Solar power has been used to fuel small experimental vehicles and to provide supplementary power for accessories. This technology is being developed rapidly, evidenced by the fact that vehicles in the Darwin to Adelaide Solar Car Rally have increased their maximum speeds from 40km/hr to 150km/hr over the last ten years.|
What we are doing to promote alternative fuels
There is no single solution to the challenge of sustainable transport energy. We are therefore working to identify and promote long-term, holistic strategies to address the complex problems facing the transport sector. We are also facilitating the take up of cleaner new vehicle technologies and alternative fuels, while also promoting fuel efficiency in the transport sector.
WA Government Fleet Policy and Guidelines have been developed, which require agencies to select passenger vehicles with a CO2 emissions rating of 215 g/km or less. More information on this policy can be found on the Department of Treasury and Finance's buyer publications web page. The Green Vehicle Guide provides examples of vehicles with a 215g/km emission rating.
We encourage the use of environmentally friendly alternative fuels. Our vehicle safety officers can help you with advice on the construction and licensing of environmentally friendly vehicles, such as electric vehicles. Visit our constructing vehicles page for more details about constructing and licensing vehicles.
|Department of Finance: WA Government Fleet Policy and Guidelines|
|Green Vehicle Guide|
Why do we need alternative fuels?
The rising cost of conventional fuels, such as petrol, reflects the finite nature of those fuels. More sustainable options are being sought throughout the world. It is important to note that emissions from vehicles using conventional fuels have an increasingly detrimental effect on air quality.
View our Air quality and noise pollution page for more details about how vehicles and their emissions impact on our health and environment.
FuelWatch, a part of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, is the only service in Australia which gives motorists the opportunity to access tomorrow's fuel prices today.
It is legislatively empowered to provide price transparency and knowledge of fuel prices in both the wholesale and retail industry sectors.
Fuel price information is freely available via the FuelWatch web page, personalised email service and media reports; and by using our phone service for the price of a local phone call, wherever you are in WA.
|Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety: FuelWatch|