Liquified Petroleum Gas, better known as propane, is a clean-burning alternative to compressed natural gas (CNG), though it gets little love in the U.S. But GM’s European arm, Opel, has just rolled out a LPG option for the new Opel Adam microcar. The gas/propane hybrid can get a combined 745 miles, while spewing fewer emissions and costing less money (at least in theory).
The Opel Adam LPG, has a 35-liter LPG tank under the hood that can offer an extra 310 miles of range on top of the 435 miles regular gasoline will get you. In Germany, LPG sells for about half the cost of gasoline, which is currently selling for around $8 a gallon. So even though the 86 horsepower, 1.4 liter ecoFlex engine only returns 34 mpg when running on LPG, compared to the 46 mpg it gets on gasoline, there is still potential for big savings if you can get by on LPG alone.
While the Opel Adam LPG starts at $21,565, about $4,000 higher than a base-model Opel, it’s apparently a cheaper alternative to the proposed Opel Adam EV, which was killed on the concept car floor. As for the U.S., the only LPG options open to us are expensive aftermarket conversions or to old-school, carburetor style, neither of which writer Jo Borras is a fan of.
His loss; propane burns cleaner, costs less, and is better for engine longevity than even the “cleanest” gasoline.