LPG Rickshaw Revolution In Afghanistan +VIDEO
Kabul Afghanistan February 19, 2014; Ghanizada writing for The Afgan News Agency reported that Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) conversion on vehicles, after an initial outlay, can bring huge cost saving benefits to motorists and drastically reduce emissions and particulates being pushed into the air.
Especially popular in Jalalabad, where a huge number of three-wheeled motorbike taxis or “tuk tuks” have undergone conversion, specialist outlets providing LPG to motorists have sprung up across the province.
Whilst the cost of running a tuk tuk has always made it an attractive option for taxi drivers, there has been a recent explosion in the popularity of a new fuel which promises savings of up to fifty per cent petrol.
Any vehicle running on petrol can be converted to run on LPG, or liquid petroleum gas, with a few simple modifications.
Driver Esah says, “LPG is not expensive for us. My motor was previously using a lot of fuel, but using gas I use much less.”
There is however another side to this story. Whilst the procedure for conversion is fairly straightforward, drivers have been using unlicensed, backstreet mechanics in droves, leading to a spate of incidents where tuk tuks have caught fire, killing all on board.
In a poverty-stricken country such as Afghanistan, it has proven difficult to convince people to opt for the safer, more-expensive option of a licenced conversion.
Another driver, Asmatullah, says, ”Until now we haven’t seen any accidents. They use this system in Pakistan a lot without any trouble.”
A local businessman, Ishaq Sadat, is keen to get the message across to drivers that conversions must take place by qualified mechanics.
Ishaq Sadat, CEO, Aman Auto Gas, said,
“These people use normal commercial cylinder from the street and they put it in their rickshaw, which is not safe. There was too many cases – as we have discussed with these rickshaw drivers – . they have too many cases of fire as the result of unsafe use of gas cylinder. We design a cylinder in Turkey to provide for them a safe system, saving money and also it will be good for the environment.”
The gas to fill these cylinders is currently imported from neighbouring countries. In the future, it’s hoped Afghanistan’s natural gas resources can be used, which could bring the price down further and benefit even more drivers.
Besides the obvious financial savings, LPG gives off far fewer emissions than petrol, a benefit that can be experienced by every resident of a crowded city such as Jalalabad.