CNG and LPG gas tanks relatively safe, crash test finds

Business Materials 2 April 2008 08:37 (UTC +04:00)

Cars converted to run on LPG (liquid petroleum gas) or CNG (natural gas) are just as safe as conventional petrol-driven vehicles, according to a crash test conducted by Germany's automobile association (ADAC). ( dpa )

Test engineers crashed an Opel Kadett travelling at 60 kilometres an hour into the rear of a standing Opel Astra station wagon with a full LPG gas tank in the spare wheel compartment.

The testers wanted to find out whether the LPG tank and hoses connected to it would remain intact in a realistic crash situation or cause an explosion.

A similar crash test was conducted with an Opel Zafira CNG that was crashed into a wall.

In both tests, the engineers found no higher fire risk than in standard vehicles. Despite massive damage to the vehicles the tanks remained intact.

When testers started a fire beneath the vehicles the safety valves worked as constructed, releasing gas in small dosages so that it could burn and avoid an explosion.

The crash test confirmed similar tests conducted in Italy, France and the Netherlands. Testers concluded there was no higher fire risk with CNG and LPG vehicles.

In the Zafira CNG the ADAC testers gave the vehicle nine stars out of a possible 16 compared to ten points for the standard vehicle. "The result is comparable to the standard vehicle," the testers concluded.