Major retailer to phase out LPG stations by 2024 – replaced by EV charging points

by Jon Burgess
26 May 2022 2 min read
Major retailer to phase out LPG stations by 2024 – replaced by EV charging points
Photos: Autogas

Owners of Autogas (LPG) converted classics and modern classics will have a harder time filling up within the next two years as the Motor Fuels Group announces it is to phase out all its LPG pumps by 2024.

In a March statement given to the Competition and Markets Authority, MFG said that LPG sales were no longer profitable, and that it planned to remove pumps from five sites by June, replacing them with EV charging facilities to reflect a change in demand for automotive power sources.

That change will eventually spread to every other site operated by MFG, which includes petrol stations under the BP, Esso, Jet, Murco, Shell and Texaco franchises. By 2024, the group’s more than 900 UK-wide forecourts, both with and without existing LPG infrastructure, will offer EV charging points. The group already has more than 200, 150kW chargers at its sites.

Despite its low carbon status (which in turn continues to attract lower fuel duty), big retailers also say that demand for LPG, an otherwise wasted by-product of gas and oil refinery (and extraction) is reducing – that’s why Shell ended its Autogas agreement with Calor in 2020; BP also followed suit.

Thirstier off-roaders and SUVs – as well as some more powerful modern classics – were popular candidates for LPG conversions. While it remains a cheaper alternative to petrol and diesel, by around 40 per cent, shortages of correctly trained tanker drivers and the decision of a major supplier, Flogas, to concentrate on off-grid heating, has meant that prices have soared and availability in certain regions has plummeted, according to user-data-driven website, Fill LPG.

UK to lose half its LPG filling stations by 2024 – replaced by electric charging points

LPG specialist, Classic Swede, based in Anglesey, Wales, said that demand for Autogas conversions have increased, as it remains a cheaper alternative to petrol and diesel engined cars for those who cover high mileage. Proprietor, Dai Brace, said: “I had not done any new conversions between 2018-2021 other than family cars. Plenty of repairs. In the past nine months I had five conversions and a number of conversion kits sold.”

The number of forecourts supplying LPG has fallen since 2020. Figures quoted from Fill LPG two years ago, including the UK and Ireland, put the total at 1906. In 2022, Fill LPG says there are now 1851 locations offering the fuel – a number that’s likely to keep dropping in the coming years.

Classic car lobbyists, the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC), said that owners of cars converted to LPG could switch back to petrol power, as most cars were set up to use both fuels. Its focus was on guaranteeing the supply of ‘protection grade’ ‘E5’ fuel on forecourts, which it secured for at least the next four years, following the introduction of 10 per cent blend ‘E10’ petrol last September.

Founder of the Modern Classic Executive Cars group, Alex Sebbinger, felt that the removal of LPG was a further obstacle for car enthusiasts to overcome: “With the disappearance of regular E5 [95 octane]  fuel, many owners of modern classics and historic vehicles will be already using super-grade as a precaution, and those whom have been enjoying LPG will certainly face increased costs of motoring.”

His views were echoed by the Alliance of British Drivers. Its Director, Paul Biggs, said, “Discontinuing LPG on garage forecourts would be extremely disappointing to say the least for owners of vehicles that run on LPG or have been converted to run on LPG, which is a cleaner and cheaper alternative to petrol.”

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  • Phil says:

    This is wrong isn’t it? Five sites are having LPG removed – that is a very long way from half of the forecourts in the UK!

  • Phil says:

    This article says there are 1,810 LPG forecourt and says half of them will have their LPG pumps removed. It then says “the decision” was made by MFG which is removing LPG from five sites. Five is not half of 1,810. What am I missing?!

  • Jon says:

    Five of MFG’s LPG forecourts are being taken away by this June, Phil.
    The remaining 906 MFG sites (at current record keeping) will be replaced by EV points by 2024.

  • Kevin says:

    Its a big shame. Filled up yesterday with 57ltrs of LPG from nearby Shell at a cost of £41, a £1 cheaper per ltr than petrol. LPG also saw us through the Petrol shortage’s last year as there was plenty at my local station. I converted my BWW330CI in December 2009, and completed 100k over the last 12 years. Its now a weekend car but will miss using a “by-product” with lower emissions. Seems wrong in a way, electric is not the answer for everything and everyone.

  • Mike Davison says:

    So the greenest fossil fuel currently available is being phased out first? Might have to convert my lpg powered classic to dirty diesel and run it on chip oil..

  • Peter says:

    What about all the Motorhomes that use LPG to run the fridge and for heating? Have you forgotten about us?

  • Phil says:

    Responding to this:

    Five of MFG’s LPG forecourts are being taken away by this June, Phil.
    The remaining 906 MFG sites (at current record keeping) will be replaced by EV points by 2024.

    There are nowhere near 906 MFG sites with LPG – that is the total number of MFG sites. So your story is wrong and should be changed!

    • Antony Ingram says:

      Hello Phil, we’ve now altered the story (and the title) to remove any ambiguity over the number of LPG filling stations.

  • sean says:

    The remaining balance of 906 MFG forecourts currently offering LPG will stop supplying it by 2024.
    H just to put my two pennyworths into this conversation i have looked on MFG website and only 58 stations offer lpg .?

  • john says:

    I think they have its a big market place for LPG suppliers lets hope flogas and others take this on board and supply campsite with pumps or place filling stations near main route around the uk for holiday makers and motorhome owners like us (big market to be missing out on )

  • David Horwill says:

    We need an LPG revival it’s 70% cleaner than petrol & deisel also has a better carbon footprint than electric cars

  • A Whiteman says:

    What a wishy washy article based off MFG’s assertion they are looking to stop. Lots of sites are reporting renewal of tanks, which gives another 20 years . There’s plenty of positives to draw from the drivel , it’s seen a huge increase on the continent. I’ve personally bumped into people that have had new installations and are saving £££ and being green! articles like this just serve to dissuade adopters .
    there ought to be the installation grants reinstated!

  • Dutch says:

    Maybe it’s time for the LPG drivers to do something. Block EV charging points, write to the government, keep supporting and informing each other on Facebook

  • ian miller says:

    Such a shame, all this, – when there is no Climate Emergency and it is just another scam, this being the biggest ever perpetrated against us by the Davos so-called “elite”.
    CO2 is just another essential molecule in the life cycle of plant and animal beings which only does good everywhere, and is certainly not a pollutant !
    We will find out soon enough that the Climate Alarmists will only bankrupt us all for being stupid enough to listen to them.

  • chris harpin says:

    I have 2 cars and both are now lpg, it’s daft that the availability of lpg is disappearing. I worked on the BP contact with DHL and watched many forecourts start issuing lpg as everyone was saying we are going green.. then i noticed that the forecourts were starting to remove this facility because of profit margins.. how green is that?

  • mike scott says:

    This is madness i own an LPG fitting garage, we are flat out we have done 200 conversion’s this year another 35 on the books, the local Morrisons MFG near to us fill there tank (2000ltrs) twice a week, so were is the drop in demand, another fitting garage 60mls from us is booked up till the end of the year (2 conversions a week) Bradford City Council have just made all the taxi fleet stop driving dirty diesel and run petrols car on LPG.

  • Richard says:

    I live in Hereford, we’ve lost three out of four lpg pumps in two years. Flogas no longer take on newkey accounts. We can’t lift gas bottles due to disabilities and will sell our motorhome.

  • Kieran Interior says:

    Which fuel stations will not be affected? I always use sainsbury’s – will I be safe?

  • G Mason says:

    Hi Hagerty, why not do a story about Flogas’ anti competitive behaviour and refusal to deliver autogas leaving thousands of drivers who have committed to cleaner greener fuel stranded without fuel yet again…. What station wants a pump with no fuel to dispense. Flogas are what is killing Autogas in the UK. This is despite giving with commitments to continue to support the fuel through to 2030! Surely there is a story there for you. In 30 years of LPG motoring no station has ever had a good word to say about Flogas.

  • David Horwill says:

    In Europe most fuel stations have all fuels available so why don’t you expand not cut lpg

  • Mr Mark S Thompson says:

    There’s misinformation in both this article and comments.

    The article at no point tells the reader that MFG had less than 60 stations with LPG.

    The article states that “By 2024, the group’s more than 900 UK-wide forecourts, both with and without existing LPG infrastructure, will offer EV charging points.”

    This gives the impression we’re losing about 900 LPG points, a mistake some of the comments have made. MFG have less than 60 stations with LPG.

    It’s not 900 going, it’s 60.

    I suppose “Less than 60 LPG stations to close” wouldn’t have got so much traffic to your website… pat yourself in the back. Good job. <– sarcasm

    • James Mills says:

      Mark, we attempted to verify with MFG the number of impacted LPG pumps at the time of publishing, and have asked for comment since. Unfortunately, we have not had a response. James Mills, Editor.

  • Mark says:

    Hi all I repair Vauxhall factory fit Lpg systems in Tiverton devon and own two now much cleaner that the petrol and diesel cars in my work shop I can breath without any adverse effects unlike the modern diesels makes your eyes water how can this be right , Iam very annoyed as like all of us finding it very hard to fill up very bad news cheers mark MBA

  • Allen says:

    We live in Bath and have lost 4 lpg pumps in the last 3 years .now have to travel 15 miles to get lpg

  • Terry Fricker says:

    What a crazy world we live in – LPG is the most environmentally correct fuel with a sustainable supply worldwide.
    For Shell and BP to take out their LPG pumps to replace them with electric car charge points is short sighted as we are unable to produce enough electric to power cars if half the car drivers change to electric cars. Further, no electric cars achieve the claimed mileage per charge and the batteries have a two year life, are expensive to replace, and there is no environmentally correct way of disposing of the old batteries!

  • Mike Reed says:

    I also live in Bath and just bought a bifuel classic expecting to use mainly LPG knowing there were half a dozen local supply points a couple of years ago. Totally gutted to find none remain! 30 miles round trip to fill up!

  • Roy Sayers says:

    This is complete and utter madness! lpg is the most environmentally friendly fuel we have, and they want to scrap it? Where does this leave people who have spent a lot of money on their cars to get them converted to lpg both to save them money AND “save the environment” its the same old story – – – clobber the drivers, smokers and drinkers!

  • Simon says:

    So how is LPG developing in the UK? i am on the continent and very very interested. Thing is in real life, lpg is quite clean and as some comments above already said the newest diesels often make your eyes water in real life though they pass the newest euro 6 standards. Real life matters more though, or not?

  • AT says:

    LPG is a great alternate to both petrol and diesel and I still think EVs are only a stop gap until green hydrogen is more accesable. Comments in the post regarding campers are noted and should be catered for as this is quite widely used within the leisure / van life world. The reason why many LPG pumps are being removed is to allow for EV fast charging bays, with the profit they can make from an EV charge as opposed to the sale of LPG many forecourts are making this as a bussiness decision to rake in more profit, LPG should be more widely avaliable as whilst it is not green it is a lot greener than traditional pump fuels. The sad reality will always be commercial short term decisions for greed flation. I have noticed that you can purchase safe refillable LPG cannisters that you can then either run as normal or decant to your LPG tank. I even remember that in the late 80s some people had gas bottles in the boot of their cars which they used to run their petrol cars.

  • Chris Andrews says:

    Drive Lpg has just removed its on line site. ‘Domain available’ Can not get accurate details of the Remaining Morrisons LPG filling stations. Wellingborough not reopened.

  • Jonathan T says:

    Morrisons are looking to sell their filling station business to MFG who say they will remove all LPG by 2024…..that plus shell and BP scrapping their Calor contract looks like the end for LPG beyond a few independents who are already increasing prices.

  • Mr Thomas Griffiths says:

    I’ve just spent 1400k having an lpg conversation on my import mitsubishi delica d5 and now all the stations seem to be always running out of lpg, for them to keep running out the demand is obviously there,also have a Jeep v8 on lpg and thought I’d do my bit to reduce my emissions, both ulez free and now they want to make me use normal petrol,
    Dosent make any sense

  • Doug.c says:

    Hi all nice to hear it’s not just me ripping my hair out about the lpg situation I’ve had my Shogun sport for nearly 20yrs and now it’s like trying to find Rocking horse shit?

  • joe says:

    So people who try to be environmentally friendly get the finger from gov. usual, all the bullshit we should be green and everything is about max profit. What is not understandable, is that buses and ships are being converted to gas to minimize pollution and big players can push for cheaper price fuels. As usual, motorists get shafted and asked to fuel more expensively.

  • Tom says:

    Everything done to make people’s lives harder.
    Where is the ecology to remove LPG stations?

  • Philip says:

    I also live in Bath and will eventually be forced to consider passing on my 19 year old – low carbon footprint – bi fuel Range Rover. Demand for LPG is thus forced down in an ever decreasing circle. The nearest Flogas key operated (account) pump is near Chippenham. 20km round trip for me. Cheapest at 73pence per litre. Otherwise Frome or Bristol at about 99pence per litre. Note that Flogas do not appear to be replacing sites once closed, and their pumps (acquired from Countrywide LPG) are getting very old. Worth phoning Flogas and stressing the need to keep this last remaining site open.

  • Philip says:

    To clarify – the Flogas site at Chippenham is the last remaining key operated site near Bath. Two other Flogas sites have been closed in and near Bath. Also closed recently are by other operators. Two near junction 18 on the M4. One an Independant garage in Bath. Closures are significant e.g. Two recently nearby Heathrow Airport. Etc etc. it is now not possible to refill easily in West London and so difficult to do a round trip from Bath to London on LPG. It is extraordinary that a whole category of a relatively clean fuel is disappearing, almost without comment.

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