Dacia LPG Italy 1 | Drive

When choosing a car, everyone sets a different order of importance for themselves. Let it be hot, fast, safe, comfortable, spacious, economical – it is unlikely that there is anyone for whom all the aspects listed here are important, but it is realistic that we have several expectations for our future car at the same time.

Unless we write 2022, because due to fuel prices that skyrocketed in the spring (although in Hungary they were artificially kept at the border of the pain threshold), fewer and fewer people shrug their shoulders if their chosen car solves the assigned mobility and other tasks with a large amount of fossil fuel.

Our article was based on a specific mission: we were preparing for a family vacation at the end of summer, and we were interested in what, if any, savings could be achieved with the various powertrains available.

Let’s take a look: we can fill up with petrol, diesel or liquefied gas (LPG, or car gas); and the gasoline engine can be combined with a full hybrid drive. Currently, there is no car brand that offers all of these – but there are car manufacturers whose different brands offer these alternatives using similar technology. The Renault group is at home in electrified powertrains with its namesake brand, and Dacia is currently the only brand to offer a wide range of LPG models.

They were eliminated at the first stage…

We’ll leave electricity for now. The utility value of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles can only be evaluated within a given kilometer radius of the few available charging points – in Budapest, for example, there is currently only one well operating, that too in private hands, and the next time we can fill up with hydrogen in Vienna.

If we were to travel long distances with a battery-powered electric car, in addition to the unevenly distributed charging network (two-thirds of the fast and lightning charging points available throughout Europe are located along Dutch, German and French roads) and the increased travel time due to the time required for charging, the complexity of the pricing and payment systems of independent charging networks it takes the mood out of it all. There is progress in all three problem areas – it will definitely be good someday, but not yet.

The 145 hp Renault Clio E-Tech, for example, consumes up to 20% less (4.2 l/100 km) than the TCe 140 version equipped with a 1.3 liter turbo engine (5.6 l/100 km) with similar performance. Comparing other hybrid/non-hybrid model pairs – Toyota Yaris, Nissan Juke, Ford Kuga, etc. – we get similar rates between 15 and 25 percent. So let’s consider that the integration of any gasoline engine into a full hybrid system reduces the fuel consumption according to the WLTP norm by approximately one fifth, and with it the costs.

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We see a similar ratio for diesels – even for the few that are still available in Europe today. The fuel consumption advantage of the diesel engine compared to the gasoline engine is 22 percent for the Dacia Duster, 13 percent for the Peugeot 508, and 19 percent for the Renault Mégane – we could continue the comparison, but the differences beyond this probably depend on the driving style. At the same time diesel is on average 8.9 (and 14.2) percent more expensive in Hungary than gasoline at the end of September in European countries – don’t count on official intervention at the moment. And from this, the sequence can be easily deduced: mathematically, the same distance can be covered cheapest with a self-charging hybrid, then come the diesels, then the gasoline engines.

They bled on the second screen…

CNG is an environmentally (and potentially financially) favorable alternative, but only in Hungary in twenty one places we can refuel with compressed gas, and thirteen of them are in Budapest, its application is not practical.

Although many people like them and in short distances they can really be the golden mean for many, plug-in hybrids offer less than full hybrids over long distances. This can be attributed to the battery: after it is discharged, the drive train continues to work as a normal, non-plug-in hybrid, but the extra weight of the (by then unnecessarily) large battery pack increases consumption.

But what about LPG, predicted as the winner in our title? in Europe at more than 46,000 charging points we can ask for car gas – so there will be no problem with everyday use. As for the prices, link already mentioned above based on the European average, we can talk about a price advantage of 46.9 percent (38.8 in Hungary) – i.e. gasoline costs almost twice as much as LPG. In addition, the fact that with the same type and engine of similar performance, LPG always costs more than gasoline is dwarfed.

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Here in Hungary today (indeed, in the whole of Europe) we can calculate based on the Dacia range: in the case of the Duster, the consumption surplus remains below 10%, the dual-cycle engine of the Sandero Stepway requires 24 percent more LPG, while in the case of the Jogger ECO-G the difference it is close to 28 percent. According to many years of experience, the reality is somewhere between the two extreme values: during everyday use, it is worth counting with 20%, and then you will not be unpleasantly disappointed. So if we drive with LPG, we don’t pay half as much as if we drive a gasoline car, but “only” 40 percent less…

If your head hurts from the many numbers and percentages, you are not alone – let’s quickly summarize what we have learned and choose a car with which we can travel far in the cheapest way.

If we drive 100 kilometers with an imaginary gasoline engine car for 5,000 forints, according to our calculations, we consume 4,360 forints of diesel over the same distance. With our gasoline-electric full hybrid car, this trip would only cost HUF 4,000, and if we switch our car’s gasoline/LPG dual-mode engine to gas consumption, the costs will drop to HUF 3,000.

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Dacia’s Tce 100 ECO-G petrol/LPG dual-mode powertrain mated to a six-speed manual transmission

There is nothing more to explain about this: after we laid out the relationship numbers, we set off with a borrowed Dacia Jogger ECO-G 100 model for our end-of-summer, early-autumn family trip to the distant south of Italy… Did the reality justify the expectations, and did we really save a lot on LPG? -s with Dacia, or did the numbers measured in the laboratory turn out to be an illusion? We will soon report on this, as well as the experiences gained with the Jogger as a car in general.

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Source: Vezess by www.vezess.hu.

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