LPG and CNG FAQs
ECONOMY + ECOLOGY:
two fundamental reasons for choosing LPG and CNG for your vehicle.
1. ECONOMY
Comparing the prices of petrol, LPG and CNG and considering the different performances deriving from their characteristics, LPG works out about 50% cheaper than petrol and CNG about 65%. Furthermore, installation of LPG and CNG conversion kits qualify for national and local government incentives in Italy.

2. ECOLOGY
LPG and CNG fuelled vehicles do not emit particulate and their toxic gas emissions are lower than those of their petrol-fuelled equivalents. The CO2 emissions of CNG vehicles in particular are more than 20% lower, helping to reduce the greenhouse effect. For these reasons, LPG and CNG powered vehicles can generally be used even when even-odd number plate measures are enforced or roads are closed to certain kind of vehicles.
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FAQ - The answers you are looking for regarding your system.
What is LPG?
LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) is a mixture of hydrocarbon gases, primarily propane and butane, which in normal conditions are gases but at pressures higher than 2 bars become liquid. LPG is obtained from the extraction of petroleum, around 2% of the extracted product, and 5% from the extraction of natural gas. It is also a by-product of crude oil refining. 55% of the LPG currently sold in Italy is obtained from natural gas fields and 45% from crude oil refining. The use of LPG as a fuel dates back to 1800 and thanks to the considerable technological progress made in conversion kits, LPG is today an ideal alternative for those wanting to save money and respect the environment when driving. LPG vehicle emissions in fact pollute less than petrol ones and the former do not produce particulate.  In addition to this, burning LPG does not produce carbon residues. This is why engine oil in LPG vehicles remains clear and its properties unaltered, even after many thousands of kilometres and this helps to reduce wear and tear of the engine’s mechanical parts. Today in Italy there are around 3,000 LPG fuel pumps serving the more than 1,700,000 LPG vehicles on the road in this country.
Which cars can be converted to LPG?
LPG conversion is suitable for petrol cars with carburettor, turbo, injection, catalytic and Euro-6 approved engines.
LPG conversion kits also exist for the most common direct injection engines.
What benefits does LPG conversion offer?
Considerable savings in the price of fuel (over 50% compared to petrol). When calculating savings, you must consider the advantage offered by the price (50% to 60% lower) of LPG together with around 10-12% lower mileage. Greater autonomy, generally 400 to 500 km, due to the addition of the LPG fuel tank. Lower emissions, normally guaranteeing that LPG vehicles can be used even when roads are closed to certain kind of vehicles or even-odd number plate measures are enforced. LPG combustion does not produce carbon residues (which cause engine oil to turn black). For this reason the engine oil in LPG vehicles remains clear and its properties unaltered, even after many thousands of kilometres and this helps to improve performance and reduce engine wear and tear.
Are LPG systems safe?
Absolutely. Systems installed in Italy after January 2001 meet the European UN ECE 67 R-01 regulation, which guarantees very high safety standards, based on extremely stringent international specifications and tests (crash tests, vehicle fire, etc.). In addition to having all their parts tested and approved according to this standard, LPG conversion kits are fitted with various safety devices:
  • a tank multivalve that automatically blocks refuelling at 80% to allow expansion of the gas should the temperature rise,
  • lock-off valves that shut off gas flow at the tank outlet and at the pressure reducer inlet in the engine housing and a tank approved to extremely stringent standards.
Modern LPG systems can therefore be considered absolutely safe and Lovato Gas LPG systems are today used as original equipment or recommended for installation also by various automobile manufacturers.
How does a modern LPG system work?
The most recent technological evolution of LPG conversion systems is represented by sequential multi point fuel injection systems like the LOVATO EASY FAST LPG. This LPG timed sequential injection system, whereby the gas is injected into each cylinder by an injector synchronised with the cylinder’s stroke in the same way as for petrol engines, is designed for 2 to 8-cylinder engines including turbo, Valvetronic, Twin Air and Multi Air versions. It is also suitable for all Start & Stop system vehicles.
Thanks to this technology, the EASY FAST system complies with the most recent legislation up to EURO 6. All the system components have been designed and tested at length by the Lovato Gas Research and Development centre to guarantee maximum performance and reliability. The main components of this system are:
  • Filling connector: Connector with standard Italian attachment (used in most European countries apart from Germany, Netherlands, Luxembourg, United Kingdom and Ireland) fitted with a check valve, for filling the tank. It can be installed on the bodywork or under the petrol flap if there is enough space.
  • Tank: This is filled with liquid LPG at the fuel pump at a pressure of around 15 bars. The tank is in arc welded high-resistance steel, heat treated to prevent cracks if it should be deformed by a blow. Today tanks are usually toroidal in shape so that they fit into the space designed to hold the spare wheel, but they can also be cylindrical.
  • Multivalve: A multipurpose valve fitted onto the tank that allows it to be filled with gas via the connector and automatically blocks refuelling at 80%. It powers the refuelling circuit and measures the gas level with dedicated sensors. The multivalve is fitted with a lock-off valve for when the engine is switched off and heat and pressure relief valves. The multivalve zone is sealed from the car interiors with its own box or lid.
  • Reducer: This vaporises the gas from its liquid state and reduces its pressure, stabilising it at the correct level for fuelling the common rail injection. It has a safety lock-off valve that closes all LPG flows when the engine is off.
  • Gas Filter: This guarantees that the gas flow to the common rail injection and therefore to the cylinders is free from impurities and oil residues. The LOVATO EASY FAST system is also fitted with temperature, gas pressure and engine load sensors for optimum system function.
  • Common Rail gas injection: Controlled by the system injection electronic control unit (ECU), injectors synchronised with the engine inject the correct quantity of gas into each cylinder.
  • GAS/Petrol fuel-switch: This allows the driver to switch from gas to petrol and vice versa and shows the gas tank level on an LED display. In normal conditions, the vehicle starts on petrol and then automatically switches over to LPG, undetected by the driver, when the circuit reaches the required working temperature (about 35°C). Should the LPG run out, the system automatically switches back to petrol and an alarm alerts the driver.
  • Electronic Control Unit (ECU): The control unit interfaces with the original petrol control unit and via signals received from the system sensors controls the gas injectors, calculating times and quantities of gas to inject. The ECU is calibrated on installation to meet the vehicle’s specific characteristics and uses auto-adaptive programmes to adjust the working parameters according to variations in conditions of use and engine wear and tear.
Is an LPG car less powerful?
With Lovato Gas modern sequential injection systems, loss of power stands at around 2-5%, generally lower than the power absorbed, for example, when the air-conditioning is switched on and with negligible effects on performance.
Does an LPG-fuelled car consume more?
Due to the different chemical and physical properties of gas compared to petrol, there is generally an increase in fuel consumption of 10%-12%, which will also depend on the kind of system installed. This increased consumption is due to the lower calorie potential of LPG. However, the lower price of LPG and its lower environmental impact make it an economical (savings of approximately 50%) and eco-friendly choice. 
Is an LPG system difficult to use?
Everything is automatic with Lovato Gas modern injection systems. All the driver needs to do is fill up with gas, push the fuel-switch and… start saving!
Can I still drive on petrol if I install an LPG system?
After installation of the LPG system, the vehicle becomes Bi-fuel, in other words, it can run either on gas or petrol. In this way the original autonomy of the vehicle actually increases, depending on the size of the gas tank installed.
What guarantee is given with the LPG system?
LOVATO GAS S.p.A., through its importer/distributor, guarantees its products as follow:

a) about sales inside EU: on mechanical and electronic parts of the products of 27 (twentyseven) months from the date of delivery of the same product;
b) about sales outside EU: on mechanical and electronic parts of the products of 18 (eighteen)  months from the date of delivery of the same product.

The efficiency of the guarantee is subject to the timely reporting of the defects within 8 (eight) days  from the delivery of products for those defects immediately detectable, and within 8 (eight) days  from the discovery for the hidden defects.
What maintenance does an LPG system need?
To guarantee correct long-term working, the system is checked periodically (e.g. filter replacement) according to a programmed maintenance plan, every 10-20,000 km. This maintenance is therefore usually carried out by a mechanic during the vehicle’s normal services.
What emissions legislation must LPG vehicles comply with?
By law, after LPG conversion, the vehicle must comply with the same reference law applied to the original petrol type approval. Lovato Gas modern sequential systems are approved to EURO 6 and are, therefore, compatible with vehicles compliant with the most recent EU legislation.
Can LPG cars be used when roads are closed certain vehicles?
When certain measures are taken for pollution reasons, such as even-odd number plates or road blocks based on emission levels (e.g. EURO 0/2 vehicle bans), gas vehicles are generally recognised as ecological and are free to circulate.
Do LPG tanks take up much room in the boot?
Today toroidal-shaped tanks are generally preferred, which can be fitted into the space designed to hold the spare wheel. In this way the tank does not take up luggage space and special repair and inflate kits are available for use in the event of a puncture. When a cylindrical tank is fitted inside the boot, this generally takes up 20-25% of the available space.
Can the LPG tank be installed underneath the car chassis?
This kind of installation is possible when the minimum legal distances between the vehicle and the ground (250 mm when the car is empty) are respected. The tank must also be protected by a sheet metal covering, with a minimum distance from the ground of 200 mm when the car is empty.
How safe are LPG tanks?
LPG tanks are extremely safe, approved and tested according to extremely stringent standards, they are more resistant to blows and fire than normal petrol tanks fitted to cars. All LPG tanks fitted in Italy after 2002 are compliant with the UN ECE 67 R-01 regulation which requires, for example, that every tank be tested to a pressure of 30 bars, almost three times the normal operating pressure.
LPG tanks are built from very thick high-resistance steel, heat treated to deform in the case of blows without cracking and tested during approval to a pressure of 67.5 bars. Furthermore, in compliance with the UN ECE 67 R-01 regulation, the multivalve fitted to the tank has a pressure relief valve to prevent overpressure and a heat valve to release the gas in a situation of excessive heat. As shown by many “bonfire tests” (tests that simulate the car catching fire due to external causes), the result of these technologies is an extremely safe product. As a further guarantee, Italian law calls for LPG tanks to be replaced every 10 years (from the date of production stamped on the tank identification plate).
What assistance is available in Italy and abroad should the LPG system break down?
Assistance is available from official retailers and Lovato Gas authorised mechanics in Italy and abroad. Lovato Gas in fact has its own distributors throughout Europe. 
Is there a good network of LPG fuel stations?
In Italy there are over 3,000 service stations and they are, therefore, to be found the length and breadth of Italy and along all motorways. In Europe there are more than 27,000 service stations and this number is increasing. The fuel connector with standard Italian attachment is used in most European countries apart from Germany, Netherlands, Luxembourg, United Kingdom and Ireland. Special adaptors are available for these countries. 
What is the road tax for LPG cars?
The road tax for LPG retrofitted cars is the same as for the original car as they can also be driven using petrol. However, some decrees give Italian regions the chance to apply reductions/exemptions to the road tax and therefore local incentives must also be considered.
Why are LPG cars more ecological?
Polluting emissions are significantly lower with LPG with 30% less CO, 20% HC and, relatively, also CO2. Gas cars do not produce particulate, in particular the PM10 that are critical for urban pollution.
Can LPG cars be parked in underground car parks?
LPG vehicles fitted with safety devices compliant with the UN ECE 67 R-01 regulation and therefore all vehicles converted since 01/01/2001, can be parked in underground garages down to the first level. Cars converted before this date and therefore still compliant with the previous legislation, can only be parked above ground.
Can LPG cars board ships and ferries?
No specific legislation exists in this case and regulations are left to the discretion of the maritime companies. Normal practice is to declare that the car is gas fuelled when buying the ticket and again when embarking. It is however, always a good idea to ask information from the company in question.
If I use LPG do I also have to fill up with petrol?
Given that the car usually starts on petrol before automatically switching over to gas, it is a good idea to always have a certain amount of petrol in your tank. For some makes of car, petrol in the tank also serves to protect the petrol pump that would deteriorate prematurely if the car were run on empty.
FAQ - The answers you are looking for regarding your system.
What is Methane?
Methane, chemical formula CH4, is an ideal fuel, found abundantly in nature as a natural gas, practically ready for use and clean. Natural gas is also the only fossil fuel in Italy; 15% of Italian requirements are in fact met thanks to national deposits. Combustion of methane leads to much fewer emissions than diesel and petrol, free from particulate and combustion residues. Furthermore, due to its chemical composition, Methane produces up to 25% less CO2, in this way reducing the formation of ozone in the atmosphere.  For this reason, when drawing up the plan to reduce greenhouse gases to meet the Kyoto Protocol, the Directorate General for Energy and Transport of the European Union stipulated that methane cover up to 10% of the European fuel market by 2020. In Italy there are over 900 methane fuel stations, and this number continually increases thanks to growing environmental awareness and over 650,000 vehicles powered with this gas.
 
Which cars can be converted to CNG?
CNG conversion is suitable for petrol cars with carburettor, turbo, injection, catalytic and Euro-6 approved engines.
CNG conversion kits also exist for the most common direct injection engines.
What benefits does CNG conversion offer?
Considerable savings in the price of fuel (over 65% compared to petrol). When calculating savings, you must consider that a 100-litre cylinder holds about 17 Kg of CNG at a pressure of 220 bars and that 1 Kg of gas corresponds, in mileage terms, to about 1.7 litres of petrol. Greater autonomy, generally 300 to 400 km, due to the addition of the CNG cylinders. Lower emissions, normally guaranteeing that CNG vehicles can be used even when roads are closed to certain kind of vehicles or even-odd number plate measures are enforced.  A CNG vehicle lowers CO2 emissions by over 20%, helping to reduce the greenhouse effect. CNG combustion does not produce carbon residues (which cause engine oil to turn black). For this reason the engine oil in gas vehicles remains clear and its properties unaltered, even after many thousands of kilometres and this helps to improve performance and reduce engine wear and tear.
Are CNG systems safe?
A CNG vehicle is as safe as a petrol or diesel powered one. Systems currently installed in Italy meet the European UN ECE R110 regulation, which guarantees very high safety standards, based on extremely stringent international specifications and tests (crash tests, vehicle fire, etc.).
Methane’s inherent characteristics actually make it safer than other fuels, for example:
  • methane is lighter than air and in the case of leaks it disperses upwards into the air instead of pooling at ground level. For this reason, since 1986, CNG-powered cars have been allowed access anywhere, including closed or underground locations, just like petrol or diesel cars;
  • an air mixture must contain 5% methane to be inflammable, while only 1% of petrol would make the mixture inflammable; 
  • the ignition temperature of an air/methane mixture is 595°C, more than double that of an air/vaporised petrol mixture (270°C).
  • the fuel circuit of gas in vehicles is designed and tested during installation to guarantee perfect seal under pressure and to ensure against gas or vapour leaks even during refilling;
  • CNG cylinders are approved and tested to the strictest of standards. Modern CNG systems can therefore be considered absolutely safe and Lovato Gas CNG systems are today used as original equipment or recommended for installation also by various automobile manufacturers.
How does a modern CNG system work?
The most recent technological evolution of methane, or CNG – Compressed Natural Gas – conversion systems is represented by sequential multi point fuel injection systems like the LOVATO EASY FAST CNG. This CNG timed sequential injection system, whereby the gas is injected into each cylinder by an injector synchronised with the cylinder’s stroke in the same way as for petrol engines, is designed for 3 to 8-cylinder engines including turbo, Valvetronic, Twin Air and Multi Air versions. It is also suitable for all Start & Stop system vehicles. Thanks to this technology, the EASY FAST system complies with the most recent legislation up to EURO 6. All the system components have been designed and tested at length by the Lovato Gas Research and Development centre to guarantee maximum performance and reliability. The main components of this system are:
  • Filling valve: In Italy the connector has a standard thread attachment, fitted with a check valve for filling the gas cylinder. There is not yet a standard filling connector throughout Europe and many countries use different attachments, mainly of the NGV1-P30 type. However adaptors are available for this kind of connector. The valve can be installed in the engine compartment, on the bodywork or under the petrol flap if there is enough space.
  • CNG tank or Cylinder: This is filled with gas at a pressure of about 220 bars. In its gas state, when refilling CNG is measured in Kg, referring to the molecular mass of fuel. CNG tanks are made from extremely resistant full steel or steel and fibre composites. CNG cylinders are always cylindrical in shape, their diameter and length varying to suit the vehicle.
  • Cylinder Valve: A multipurpose valve fitted to the cylinder head that allows refilling of the system circuit via the filling connector.  This valve is usually fitted with heat and pressure relief valves and is tested installed on the cylinder according to strict legislation.
  • Reducer: This reduces the pressure of the gas, stabilising it at the correct level for fuelling the common rail injection. It has a safety lock-off valve that closes all CNG flows when the engine is off.
  • Gas Filter: This guarantees that the gas flow to the common rail injection and therefore to the cylinders is free from impurities and oil residues. The LOVATO EASY FAST system is also fitted with temperature, gas pressure and engine load sensors for optimum system function.
  • Common Rail gas injection: Controlled by the system injection electronic control unit (ECU), injectors synchronised with the engine inject the correct quantity of gas into each cylinder.
  • GAS/Petrol fuel-switch: This allows the driver to switch from gas to petrol and vice versa and shows the gas cylinder level, processing the signal from a pressure gauge in the circuit and showing it on an LED display. In normal conditions, the vehicle starts on petrol and then automatically switches over to CNG, undetected by the driver, when the circuit reaches normal working conditions. Should the gas run out, the system automatically switches back to petrol and an alarm alerts the driver.
  • Electronic Control Unit (ECU): The control unit interfaces with the original petrol control unit and via signals received from the system sensors controls the gas injectors, calculating times and quantities of gas to inject. The ECU is calibrated on installation to meet the vehicle’s specific characteristics and uses auto-adaptive programmes to adjust the working parameters according to variations in conditions of use and engine wear and tear.
Is a CNG car less powerful?
Due to the different chemical and physical properties of this gas compared to petrol, CNG cars are inevitably less powerful. With Lovato Gas modern sequential injection systems loss of power however stands at around 10-15% and has no significant effect on driving.
How does consumption change in CNG cars?
Due to the different chemical and physical properties of gas compared to petrol, when assessing the consumption and autonomy of CNG cars, the following factors must be considered: as the CNG cylinder is filled with gas and not liquid, this is measured in terms of molecular mass, namely in Kg. The ratio between tank capacity in litres and the mass of containable gas at 220 bars is about 0.17. Therefore a 100-litre tank can hold about 17 Kg of CNG. In terms of mileage, one Kg of methane is about the equivalent of 1.7 litres of petrol. In the case of a petrol car that does an average of 13.5 km/litre, this will do almost 400 kilometres with a 100-litre cylinder. Considering the fact that CNG costs less, this generally gives savings of about 65%, with enormous benefits for the environment and a reduction in the greenhouse effect.
Is an CNG system difficult to use?
Everything is automatic with Lovato Gas modern injection systems. All the driver needs to do is fill up with gas, push the fuel-switch and… start saving!
Can I still drive on petrol if I install a CNG system?
After installation of the CNG system, the vehicle becomes Bi-fuel, in other words, it can run either on gas or petrol. In this way the original autonomy of the vehicle actually increases, depending on the size of the gas tank installed.
What guarantee is given with the CNG system?
LOVATO GAS S.p.A., through its importer/distributor, guarantees its products as follow:

a) about sales inside EU: on mechanical and electronic parts of the products of 27 (twentyseven) months from the date of delivery of the same product;
b) about sales outside EU: on mechanical and electronic parts of the products of 18 (eighteen)  months from the date of delivery of the same product.

The efficiency of the guarantee is subject to the timely reporting of the defects within 8 (eight) days  from the delivery of products for those defects immediately detectable, and within 8 (eight) days  from the discovery for the hidden defects.
What maintenance does an CNG system need?
To guarantee correct long-term working, the system is checked periodically (e.g. filter replacement) according to a programmed maintenance plan, every 10-20,000 km. This maintenance is therefore usually carried out by a mechanic during the vehicle’s normal services.
What emissions legislation must CNG vehicles comply with?
By law, after CNG conversion, the vehicle must comply with the same reference law applied to the original petrol type approval. Lovato CNG modern sequential systems are approved to EURO 6 and are, therefore, compatible with vehicles compliant with the most recent EU legislation.
Can CNG cars be used when roads are closed to certain kind of vehicles?
When certain measures are taken for pollution reasons, such as even-odd number plates or road blocks based on emission levels (e.g. EURO 0/2 vehicle bans), gas vehicles are generally recognised as ecological and are free to circulate. 
Where can the CNG tank be installed?
CNG tanks, which are cylindrical and come in different diameters and lengths, are usually installed in the car boot. Installation on the outside of the vehicle, in particular underneath the chassis, is sometimes possible if the minimum distance from the ground can be guaranteed, together with legal safety distances.
How safe are CNG tanks?
CNG tanks are made from extremely resistant full steel or steel and fibre composites to hold the final weight of the cylinder. They have extremely high mechanical resistance, tested to 300 bars, 1.4 times the normal working pressure, and are therefore extremely safe, approved and tested according to extremely stringent standards. Italian law also requires that each tank, after production testing, is then checked every 5 years for Italian-approved cylinders and every 4 years for R110-approved cylinders (from the production date stamped on the tank identification plate) by the GFBM, the Italian vehicle cylinder control body. Specialist mechanics carry out these tests, replacing the tanks with others already tested. The cost of the test and replacement is paid for by the GFBM, which also guarantees insurance cover for the cylinders (Italian law no. 145 of 07.06.1990), while the car owner pays for tank removal/refitting.
What assistance is available in Italy and abroad should the CNG system break down?
Assistance is available from official retailers and Lovato Gas authorised mechanics in Italy and abroad. Lovato Gas in fact has its own distributors throughout Europe. 
Is there a good network of CNG fuel stations?
In Italy there are over 900 service stations, a number that is continuing to increase rapidly thanks to national and regional incentives. In Europe there are about 2,500 refuelling points, these too increasing, particularly in Germany, Switzerland and the Czech Republic. There is not yet a standard filling connector throughout Europe and many countries use different attachments, mainly of the NGV1-P30 type. However adaptors are available for this kind of connector. 
What is the road tax for CNG cars?
The road tax for CNG retrofitted cars is the same as for the original car as they can also be driven using petrol. However, some decrees give Italian regions the chance to apply reductions/exemptions to the road tax and therefore local incentives must also be considered.
Why are CNG cars more ecological?
Using methane as a fuel reduces the emission of the greenhouse gas CO2 by over 20%. Emissions of CO and Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) are also significantly lower. HC emissions are also almost totally made up of pure, non-toxic methane. Gas cars do not produce particulate, in particular the PM10 that are critical for urban pollution.
Can CNG cars be parked in underground car parks?
CNG vehicles are not subject to any kind of limits and can be parked anywhere.
Can CNG cars board ships and ferries?
No specific legislation exists in this case and regulations are left to the discretion of the maritime companies. Normal practice is to declare that the car is gas fuelled when buying the ticket and again when embarking. It is however, always a good idea to ask information from the company in question.
If I use CNG do I also have to fill up with petrol?
Given that the car usually starts on petrol before automatically switching over to gas, it is a good idea to always have a certain amount of petrol in your tank. For some makes of car, petrol in the tank also serves to protect the petrol pump that would deteriorate prematurely if the car were run on empty.
Why does a CNG conversion kit cost more than an LPG one?
The difference in price between the two kinds of system is due mainly to the difference in price of a CNG cylinder and an LPG tank. A CNG cylinder must resist testing pressures of 300 bars and therefore calls for the use of much more expensive materials and construction techniques than an LPG tank, which must resist pressures around 10 times lower.
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