TOYOTA PRIUS 3G 1.8HSD, THE DEFINITIVE FUEL CONSUMPTION TEST

Everyone has ever heard great reviews concerning hybrid technology and the Toyota Prius is undoubtedly the benchmark in the industry. It is also popular the Toyota´s slogan: “Two engines which consume less than one”.

Let us remember that the Toyota Prius has been the indisputable leader in hybrid technology since 1998, consisting of two different engines: fuel + electric. There are many great articles which have made fuel consumption tests in order to find out the true fuel consumption of Toyota´s promise.

Nevertheless, this is not enough and today we are going even further:

Have you ever heard about the LPG or also called AutoGas?

The LGP (Liquified Petroleum Gas) or AutoGas is a gas mainly composed of two elements, the propane, and butane, which have been liquefied at low temperatures and moderate pressures for convenience of transportation. 

I would be lying if I claimed that LPG is a new fuel alternative, which actually dates back to the ’60s in Spain and other European countries. However, nowadays it is again being used due to its low cost and simple maintenance, besides a positive environmental footprint. It is known that more than 25 million cars are powered by LPG all over the world.

You just need to be aware that your car will need a to be converted into LPG. As an example of how the budget would look like, I will tell you that a Toyota Prius 3G in Spain would cost around 1.300€ + 21% VAT = 1.573.-€. This initial amount would mainly depend on the number of cylinders of your engine. We need to consider that a larger number of cylinders would require more injectors and pipes for the conversion, as well as higher working hours to be done by installers. 

REASONS TO CONVERT YOUR CAR INTO LPG

This fuel can be used to power your vehicle and some of its benefits are:

  • LPG is an environmental friendly energy and you will be able to apply for special bonuses on the yearly cost on tax on motor vehicles.
  • The great news of the conversion is its price: around 0,60€/L versus conventional petrol, which average cost in Europe is around 1,30€/L.
  • The maintenance cost is reduced, around 45€ every 40.000 km: a general overhaul and filter change.
  • Henceforth the consumption of conventional petrol will be very reduced, just until the engine reaches the operating temperature (during the first 5 minutes).

CRITICS AGAINST THE LPG CARS

Vehicles powered by LPG are known to be reduced their performances between 5-7% nonetheless, users are not able to appreciate such small change. In the unlikely event that LGP users needed an extra engine performance, they could change the engine into petrol in just a few seconds.

In the past, some LGP users complained about some issues in their engine valves. Nowadays, car makers design stronger and more resistant engine valves which can work indistinctly with petrol or LGP.

THE DEFINITIVE FUEL CONSUMPTION TEST

Authorized installers of LPG do normally offer both 35L and 60L deposit options. I would definitely advise the big one for your LPG kit, given that the price difference is affordable while the additional benefits are tremendous.

The analysis would not have been possible without the information on kilometers driven, autonomy and prices provided by a taxi driver from Madrid. Notice that the driving conditions are in Madrid, around 75% city – 25% highway and important to note that this taxi driver does have a fast driving profile. These are good news since you might be able to get even better results.

The unit object of analysis is a Toyota Prius 3G with a deposit of 60L, registered with 250.000kms and Trifuel (Electric + Fuel + LPG). The table below shows the average consumption of this model during the last 5.366 kilometers:

The table above shows the average consumptions and its respective cost for the Prius 3G fuel version and the LPG one. Thus, the cost-saving every 100, 1.000, 10.000 and 100.000 km is estimated. The cost saving is clear. For a particular usage, the figure of 2,61€/100 cost saving might seem priceless, however for a professional one – a taxi driver which its useful life is around 500.000 km – the cost saving would be around 13.000€, amount which would mean almost the half of the car price. These cost saving could be spent in a new car when needed.

Do not forget that the Toyota Prius powered by AutoGas naturally will consume petrol, but it will be meaningless. If the car is used for a long trip, it will just spend petrol until the operating temperature is reached. If the car is left to cool down, will spend 0,50L/100, this is around 0,75€/100 (1,30€/L).

As mentioned above, these figures have been provided by a taxi driver with a fast driving profile. Thus, getting better consumptions is definitely possible.

Finally, there are some additional advantages to further consider:

  • The cost saving on the tax on motor vehicles: the user of AutoGas in Spain would benefit from a tax rebate around 100€ yearly for 6 years.
  • For professional usage, such as self-employed and companies, will have the right to deduct the input VAT due to the LGP conversion, which is an important cost saving of around 330,33.-€.
  • Of course, the contribution to be environmentally friendly is a great plus and must be also an attractive issue to take into account.

CONCLUSIONS

Not just hybrid cars are eligible for the LPG conversion, but also petrol cars and, even now a new system was devised for diesel cars.

In terms of pay-back, the initial outlay of 1.573.-€ would be recovered in approximately 65.000 km, this is less than a year for professional usage.

Thanks to the fuel consumption test, it has already been proven that the Prius 3G powered by AutoGas is the best option to draw more benefits from your car with cheaper prices and by using clean fuel. As I said, not just hybrid cars are eligible, so the message is clear: if you want to start saving money, converting your car into LPG would be a great option!! Just judge the figures!

Are you already taking advantage of a vehicle powered by LPG? Would you recommend it?

Would you like to share with us your cost-saving analysis?

I hope you have enjoyed this article, at least as much as I did writing it for you! From my side, it is always a pleasure to share with you all my knowledge, ideas and investigations about important topics related to the wonderful automotive world. I would love to read your comments on this article, some answers on the questions raised or any other topic or suggestion you would like to make. See you soon my friend! 😊

Juan Carlos Hoyos Saez Administrator
Passionate about Cars, Driving and Business. My objective is to inspire more and more car lovers. Racing, Kickboxing, traveling, and healthy life. Sub-project leader as a Material Cost/Project Controller, Daimler Trucks Asia (Tokyo, Japan).
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