In Victoria, the number of LPG conversions that were compliance-plated for the year to the end of April was 20.5% higher than for the same period last year, according to the AAFRB.
The increase continues a marked upswing that began last year.
There were 6730 LPG Autogas-powered vehicles compliance-plated in Victoria in 2004 – an increase of 2040 vehicles or 43.5% over the total in that state in 2003.
AAFRB chairman Jim Richards said the heightened level of motorist interest is being driven by the big increase in the price difference between LPG and petrol.
“There’s one main reason for the upswing and that’s the price gap, which for some months now has been up to 70c a litre,” Richards said. “Installers tell me that, historically, whenever petrol goes over a dollar a litre, sales of LPG Autogas systems rise noticeably.”
Data collected by LPG Australia from LPG Autogas equipment suppliers showed there had been a 14% increase nationally compared to the same period last year.
LPG Australia says anecdotal evidence from states other than Victoria shows a similar upswing in the installation of LPG Autogas systems.
“Installers and equipment suppliers are telling us they are having trouble keeping up with demand,” LPG Australia spokesperson Phil Westlake said.
Westlake agreed the sales spike was clearly due to petrol price rises.