Auto LPG Vehicles


Overview


In 2007, the soaring gasoline price has pushed the widespread utilization of LPG as a transport fuel for commercial taxis in the country. The DOE, seeing the opportunity to promote the safe use of liquefied petroleum (LPG) as alternative fuel for public transportation, issued Department Circular (D.C.) No. 2007-02-0002 entitled "Providing for the Rules and Regulations Governing the Business of Supplying, Hauling, Storage, Handling, Marketing and Distribution of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) For Automotive Use” to serve as a guideline for the increasing demand of LPG as transport fuel.  Further, in support of this initiative, the Department, spearheaded the creation of an interim inter-agency AutoLPG Technical Working Group (TWG), with members from the DOTr, Land Transportation Office (LTO), LTFRB, Department of Trade and Industry-Bureau of Product Standards (DTI-BPS), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Interior and Local Government-Bureau of Fire Protection (DILG-BFP), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA),  and private sector, to serve as an inter-agency coordination body to address overlapping issues in existing rules and guidelines governing the use of LPG in vehicles.

In 2010, the DOE was successful in supporting the 17,500 taxi units that were converted to autoLPG-fueled by facilitating the establishment of privately financed 217 refilling stations to serve the fuel needs of these taxis. Likewise, additional standards, such as, PNS/UN ECE 67:2006, PNS/UN ECE 115:2006, PNS 04:2006 and PNS/DOE FS 03:2006, were developed and formulated to further improve public acceptance of using LPG in taxis. However, the availability of efficient and new models of cars for taxis, lower gasoline prices and the series of negative public perception on the health impact of LPG to commuters and drivers have affected the interest of taxi-fleet operators to convert their units to LPG.  From 2012 up to the present, there is a decline in the total number of autoLPG-fueled taxis plying along the roads.  


Market and Supply Infrastructure Development


Table 23 shows that in 2014, the total number of commercial autoLPG-fueled taxis nationwide stood at 9,957 units complemented by 218 refilling stations. In 2015, the autoLPG-fueled taxis decreased to about 9,718 units supported by 192 refilling stations. As discussed, the decline was brought about by various issues that hampered the program’s implementation. However, during the 4th quarter of 2016, autoLPG-fueled taxis increased to a total of 8,415 units with 192 refilling stations that serve them.  

Despite the set back, the DOE is exerting all efforts within its mandate to make the autoLPG a viable option as fuel for public transportation. To sustain the program, the DOE, in coordination with concerned NGAs, promotes the mainstreaming of autoLPG in the transport sector through policy recommendation. In June 2016, the interim inter-agency AutoLPG TWG was officially institutionalized through the adoption of the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) No.1 Series of 2016 entitled “Creating the Inter-Agency Technical Working Group (TWG) on the Use of AutoLPG as Fuel for Public Transport and for Other Related Purposes.” The TWG is targeted to be established in key areas in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao with the objective of harmonizing all autoLPG related policies, rules and guidelines, and establish a mechanism for collaboration, cooperation and coordination among member NGAs for the effective implementation of the Auto-LPG Program.

Furthermore, to provide a steady pool of experts and capable technicians to serve the repair and maintenance needs of the autoLPG vehicles, the DOE has partnered with State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) to integrate the AutoLPG technician course in their TechVoc course offerings. And to address the negative public perception issue, the DOE continuously conducts a nationwide stakeholders-focused IEC campaign; conduct scientific studies, such as performance test and health and hazard assessment; and formulate and adopt safety related rules, regulations and standards. 

Table 23. AUTOLPG TAXIS AND REFILLING STATIONS

Year

Actual

Taxis

Refilling Stations

2014

9,957

218

2015

9,718

192

2016

8,415

192

As of 4th  quarter of 2016


Scientific Studies, Research and Standards Development


To further optimize the benefits of using LPG as alternative transportation fuel, the DOE in cooperation with the University of the Philippines (UP) - Diliman, through its National Center for Transport Studies (NCTS) and Vehicle Research and Testing Laboratory (VRTL), conducted a base-line performance test of the Philippine autoLPG jeepneys.  The result of the said study shall be used as input in the development of standard for high-performance Philippine autoLPG jeepney.

Likewise, the DOE in cooperation with DTI-BPS and other concerned agencies, private sector, and Technical Committees on Cylinders, Road Vehicles and Refueling Stations have formulated the following autoLPG related national standards:

1. PNS/UN ECE 67:2006 “(Approval of specific equipment of motor vehicles using liquefied petroleum gases in their propulsion system, and; Approval of a vehicle fitted with specific equipment for the use of liquefied petroleum gases in their propulsion system with regard to the installation of equipment.)”

2. PNS/UN ECE 115:2006 “(Specific LPG retrofit systems to be installed in motor vehicles for the use of LPG in their propulsion system)”.

3. PNS 04:2006 “(Road Vehicles – Automotive LPG components – CONTAINERS)”.)

4.  PNS 05:1983 “(Code of Practice for Existing Standards)”; and

5. PNS/DOE FS 03:2006 “AutoLPG Dispensing Stations”.

Currently, the TWG is in the process of updating the old PNS 05: series 1983 – “Code of practice for the use of LPG in internal combustion engine”.


 Action Plan


The market potential for the autoLPG sector has not yet been fully realized.  The DOE, as a support of attaining this sector’s full potential, has lined-up various undertaking to provide the necessary support to mainstream the use of autoLPG in the transport sector.

SHORT-TERM (2017-2019)

  • Harmonize policies of concerned NGAs on autoLPG
  • Review and update of PNS 05 s.1983, otherwise known as the Code of Practice in the use of LPG in internal combustion engines.
  • Development of high-performance LPG Jeepney prototype.
  • Encourage international manufacturers to make available in the local market the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) LPG-vehicles.
  • Integration of AutoLPG Technicians’ Training Module in the Tech-Voc Curricula of the SUCs.
  • Development of Emergency Response Protocol for autoLPG-fueled vehicles.
  • Conduct of comprehensive health-hazard assessment/studies on the use of LPG in vehicles.
  • Continuous conduct of IEC campaigns to further promote the utilization of LPG in motor vehicles.

MEDIUM-TERM (2020-2022)

  • Research and development on the expanded applications of LPG in other sectors including agriculture (farming and fishing sub-sectors)
  • Advocate for the legislation providing incentives for the importation and/or manufacturing of original manufactured LPG-fueled vehicles
  • Development of rules and guidelines to encourage the establishment of support infrastructure such as autoLPG refilling stations, after-sales services and manufacture of parts.