Today, Dacia is the only brand on the Czech market offering a complete range of models with “dual-fuel” combustion engines, which makes the once cheap Romanian carmaker the current Czech leader in sales of new LPG cars. And in the Czech Republic, more than 41 percent of the brand’s customers choose them.
The popular Dacia boasts more than ten years of factory production of LPG-burning cars. The brand’s state-of-the-art gas engine is no longer new, as it was introduced in 2020. The basis of the economical technology is the one-liter turbocharged TCe 100 Eco-G three-cylinder engine that burns gasoline and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), a mixture of propane and butane.
Combustion of two types of fuel from series production naturally required special modifications to the engine. These increase the overall efficiency, extend the service life and simplify the service. The main improvements to the TCe 100 Eco-G engine are the valve seats and the valves in the cylinder head – with the help of better heat treatment during production, they are stronger overall.
Today, there is no need to additionally adjust the valve clearances, which in the past was associated with regular servicing. The maintenance of gas-powered cars is thus practically the same as for normal engines. The only specialty is the specific liquid and gas phase filters in the gas fuel line.
Based on experience from real operation, the engineers managed to fine-tune the design and overall functionality of the gas system. They introduced a new type of regulator to separate the electric valve from the gas reducer/evaporator, used a low-pressure gas line with thermal protection, and supplemented the cooling circuit of the reducer/evaporator with an electric pump. As a result, they enable a faster transition to the LPG combustion mode and more stable operating conditions.
At the same time, the strictest Euro 6 emission standard required the replacement of the control units for both gasoline and LPG injection. The ecological advantage of liquefied petroleum gas is the fact that in LPG combustion mode the engine is capable of emitting ten percent less CO emissions2 than gasoline. At the same time, it develops higher torque and power, because LPG as a fuel has a higher octane number and a higher energy value. Thanks to this, the engine has a higher efficiency.
The LPG tank is made of steel and does not need to be changed after 10 years, as is the case elsewhere. Checking the LPG system is also included in the standard maintenance program, and Dacia also provides a full warranty of 3 years or 100,000 km on its solution. The tank is located under the floor of the luggage compartment (where there is usually a reserve) and therefore does not limit its overall spaciousness in any way. The filling hole is located in the same place as the neck of the petrol tank and filling takes only two minutes. Safety is ensured by a shut-off valve, a system limiting the filling of the tank above 80 percent, a flow limiter and a safety valve.
When driving, you can choose between individual fuel types manually, or leave it to the car’s electronics and drive in purely automatic mode. The car thus starts on petrol, but then automatically switches to LPG. When the LPG tank is empty, you continue driving on petrol.
You have a full tank for both fuels, so Dacia’s advertised range of 1,000 kilometers is not unattainable. But the main advantage is that if you reach an area without available LPG on your travels, you can drive on petrol without restriction.
The main argument for LPG is above all the economy of operation. Dacia will charge 15,000 more for LPG-burning engines than for regular gasoline, which, however, will quickly pay you back with the money you save on fuel at a higher mileage. These should be lower by a substantial 30 percent than with a gasoline engine and by 20 percent than with a diesel engine. The costs associated with servicing are the same as for classic petrol units. And there are also plenty of LPG filling stations in the Czech Republic. Does that make sense you say?
What do you say about running on LPG?
I already drive on LPG and I can’t praise it enough.
I think a lot about LPG, I would save a lot.
I don’t want to complicate my life and I don’t worry about fuel that much.
A total of 166 readers voted.