Dacia Sandero and Duster Bi-Fuel off sale amid LPG crisis

98 dacia sandero  LPG Fill up

Romanian car maker halts sales of the only new LPG-equipped cars on the UK market

Dacia has temporarily stopped production of its Bi-Fuel cars, which can run on liquid petroleum gas (LPG), due to problems in the LPG supply chain.

This means the Dacia Sandero Bi-Fuel and Dacia Duster Bi-Fuel – the only LPG-ready cars sold in Britain – are presently unavailable to order.

Both the hatchback and the SUV feature a 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol engine that can also run on LPG to extend their official touring range north of the 600-mile mark, although a recent experiment by Autocar found the Sandero could feasibly travel more than 900 miles if both tanks were brimmed. 

The UK is currently experiencing a massive shortage of LPG, with a lack of deliveries being made due to ongoing driver shortages and core supply issues caused by the war in Ukraine.

Speaking to Autocar, Dacia said: “The LPG supply chain is currently facing issues that are creating industrial shortage. Dacia will temporarily suspend orders for versions equipped with the ECO-G engine of certain models.”

The Romanian car maker hasn’t confirmed when they will go back on sale.

The LPG supply crisis has been brewing for months, even before Russian sanctions following its invasion of neighbouring Ukraine.

Following the pandemic, a shortage of drivers meant deliveries of the fuel weren’t getting to the pumps. And when deliveries were then made, firms raised their prices to cover lost income, as LPG isn’t covered by the same price cap as other fuels.

In 2020, major supplier Shell ended the sale of Autogas-supplied LPG at its UK forecourts, citing low demand and prohibitive compliance costs. It closed its final site, at Haddon services on the A1, on 29 October that year.

This, coupled with Russia restricting gas supplies to Europe, has caused a massive drop in availability and a hike in prices, which has turned buyers away.

Across the UK, there are currently just 368 filling stations offering LPG to the public, down from roughly 1400 this time two years ago. 

At the time, an Autogas spokesman told Autocar that there were a number of factors at play in the decision to exit the UK market: “Customer demand for LPG for domestic transportation has declined due to changing customer preferences and the increasing availability of other lower-carbon fuels. Many of our Autogas sites are therefore increasingly underutilised, which is why the LPG offering is being phased out.

“The current Autogas refuelling network was installed around 20 years ago and, as such, significant investment would be required to maintain the long-term safe and compliant operation of these facilities.”

Source: Autocar

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