Mazda could put liquid petroleum gas (LPG) models on its price list after an increase in demand from fleets wishing to convert Mazda6 and Mazda3 petrol models to run on the alternative fuel.

Oil giant BP has so far enlisted four Mazda6 conversions into its LPG division and Calor Gas has ordered four Mazda6 models and two Mazda3s for conversion. Gleaner Oils has three Mazda3s on order and the manufacturer says it is in talks with other organisations about supplying cars for LPG conversions.

Prins Autogas UK carries out the conversions at its two centres in the West Midlands and Southampton.

Mazda‘s Fleet boss Peter Allibon said the brand had not initiated a strategy to promote LPG conversions of its models but was focusing on the sector because Prins had found the Mazda6 and Mazda3 compatible for use with the fuel.

“Prins has found the Mazda6 and Mazda3 strong for conversion and there is a market for them,” Allibon said.

He said Mazda was looking at whether it should introduce an LPG vehicle to its range as an interim solution to meet demand for greener, more economical models.

“If we had an LPG Mazda6 on the price list it may give us a volume opportunity.” Allibon said the brand was weighing up the potential incremental volume increase against the difficulties and costs of setting up an LPG conversion operation.

He pointed out that if Mazda introduced an LPG model to its price list the end user would benefit from a reduction in BIK, which does not apply to aftermarket conversions.

Prins Autogas UK, is the distributor of Prins Autogas Systems, which is owned by Dutch firm SHV Gas – also the parent of Calor gas in the UK.

Allibon said the success of the LPG conversions for BP had triggered the interest from Calor Gas and Gleaner Oils.

Having peaked at 26,000 in 2001, sales of LPG cars dwindled after the Government withdrew grants to offset the additional cost of the vehicles. In 2009 12,500 LPG models were sold in the UK, the vast majority of which (12,250) were aftermarket conversions.

But Prins UK believes the potential cost savings could see LPG making a comeback in the fleet sector.

“Conversions cost £1500 to £2000 depending on model. LPG remains significantly cheaper than petrol and businesses will recoup the aftermarket conversion costs within 18 months,” it said.

According to, LPG currently costs 76.35p per litre, compared to 128.72p for unleaded and 133.64p for diesel.

Follow BusinessCar on TWITTER