WHEN IT comes to saving money on fuel and cutting carbon emissions there are alternatives to expensive electric and hybrid options.
In the surge of development leading to electric cars, tried and trusted gas power seems to have been left behind in the rush except by Malaysian manufacturer Proton which fields the GEN-2 ecoLogic.
Unlike some other LPG vehicles on the road, the ecoLogic is pre-converted by Proton at no extra cost, saving the hassle of worrying about conversion.
You also get a Proton manufacturer's warranty thrown in.
The Proton GEN-2 ecoLogic runs on both petrol and LPG gas. The only difference is the price with LPG currently retailing at around 65-70p per litre whereas unleaded is costing around 135p.
Running on LPG results in a slight loss of power and less mpg. However with the fuel costs savings to be made, the running costs better that of most modern diesel cars.
After a few days at the wheel of the ecoLogic its sense did shine through. It is a first line choice in gas power because it retails at the same price as a conventional GEN-2. An after-market conversion could cost around £1,500.
The beauty of it is that the ecoLogic has a petrol tank and a gas tank and can run on either.
There are around 1,400 LPG refuelling stations around the UK and they are increasing all the time.
There is nothing complicated about dual fuel operation.
The ecoLogic model starts on petrol and switches automatically to LPG once it becomes most efficient to do so, usually after about 20 seconds. The GEN-2's high quality LPG system is supplied to Proton by the Dutch company XLR8 and makes use of the latest engine management technology.
Any very slight differences in performance between petrol and LPG will go virtually unnoticed, although LPG combustion is slightly quieter. Refuelling is quickly mastered and even where a filling station cannot be found, you can of course simply revert to petrol until one is located.
There are no additional maintenance requirements other than a system check and filter change when the car goes in for its normal service.
Apart from their LPG-capability, the GEN-2 ecoLogic models share the same specification as their petrol-only equivalents.
The car is based on the Persona, a somewhat old design but well-suited to dual fuel.
The Persona has plenty of room for five adults, a large boot space and clever storage solutions.