Qatar Transport Company (Mowasalat) in partnership with Qatar Fuel (WOQOD) launched its first LPG-fuelled Karwa taxi.
LPG is widely used as fuel for road vehicles globally and when handled correctly is a safe alternative to gasoline and diesel. Vehicles fuelled by LPG, commonly referred as Autogas, cause less air-pollutants compared to gasoline and diesel fuelled vehicles. They also run quietly, thus reducing noise-pollution.
The car will be used on a trial basis and taxis powered by Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) would hit the Doha roads next year, if the experiment proves a success, Mowasalat Chairman and managing Director, Jassim Saif Al-Sulaiti said in a press-conference yesterday.
Along with senior officials from WOQOD and Mowasalat, Khalid Ghanim Al-Ali, Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Environment and Natural Reserves was also present at the launch ceremony held at the Mowasalat headquarter.
This is the first time LPG has been used as a fuel for road vehicles in the GCC said Mark Vidler, Marketing Manager of WOQOD.
“WOQOD will now assist Mowasalat in the running of Autogas on a larger number of vehicles to assess the performance improvement and to see if even wider use of Autogas is applicable,” he added.
Converting gasoline engine vehicles to run on Autogas has been achieved safely on millions of cars globally and today all the major vehicle-manufacturers produce dual fuel vehicles.
“Conversions need to be carried out carefully and we intend to work with Mowasalat and Government bodies, especially Civil Defence, to certify professional companies for these conversions,” said Vidler.
Jassim said, for the first LPG-fuelled taxi launched yesterday, the conversion was carried out by Mowasalat, with the support of an Italian company. Apart from an LPG-cylinder, the car is fitted with a dual switch, for changing the vehicle to Autogas or gasoline as the driver wishes.
Typically when a car starts from cold, it runs on gasoline and then automatically switches to Autogas once the engine warms. Conversion from gasoline to Autogas is safe, easy and economic. A typical conversion costs about $1,500 and takes about half a day to complete, said Vidler.