G asautos are on the way from niche to mass market, in 2009 alone more than 150,000 vehicles with liquid gas (LPG) or natural gas drive (CNG) were registered. The population in Germany is now around one percent; a decade ago, on the other hand, it was in the barely perceptible per mille range. Increasing gasoline and diesel prices make the alternatives appear interesting.
In addition, low LPG and CNG fuel costs are guaranteed for many years to come, because both types will benefit from a reduced mineral oil tax until 2018. The supply of alternative fuels can now be regarded as problem-free. Around 5,500 filling stations offer LPG and around 900 CNG throughout Germany.
The model selection of gas cars is growing steadily
The model selection by the manufacturers is also constantly increasing and ranges from small cars to family cars to SUVs. However, the gas versions often cannot be combined with all equipment lines or details - as with the Mercedes B 180 NGT, for which there is no start-stop system that is offered in the normal Blue Efficiency.
With The purchase price must first be paid in advance, because the gas cars are usually at least 2,000 euros more expensive than the comparable petrol versions. The exception to this rule is Chevrolet, where many LPG models do not require an extra charge. The cost advantage due to the cheaper fuel is reflected in the first kilometer driven.
Gas cars can be worthwhile after a short time
However, auto motor und sport tests show that the very low fuel costs - for the Opel Zafira CNG they are around 30 percent of those of the gasoline engine - be able to recoup the additional price after a short period of use.
There is no general rule of what mileage a gas car is cheaper than a comparable petrol car. However, those who opt for an economical small car with gas drive have to drive tens of thousands of kilometers before the additional costs are amortized. Therefore: the thirstier the basic car, the more the gas version is worthwhile.