Data company, HydroCIS and the Nigerian Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association (NLPGA) recently shared insights on how much it costs to convert a petrol-powered keke napep (tricycle) to run on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). According to them, to convert a 4-stroke liquid and air-cooled engine costs between N100,000 and N200,000 on average.
The consumption rate for a gas-powered keke napep is 6.5 kilowatts (kW) at 5,500 revolutions per minute (rpm). Typically, users can expect to recover the expenses incurred in converting the vehicle within a period of 3 to 4 months, with a cost of approximately N15 to N20 per kilometre.
However, it is worth noting that these estimates may vary based on factors such as power output and the number of passengers or loads carried, as highlighted by HydroCIS and NLPGA.
In practical terms, to cover a distance of 100 kilometres using gas, users will need 3.5 kilograms of LPG, which comes at a cost of N560 per litre, resulting in a total expense of N3,920.
In contrast, if the same distance is covered using petrol, it would require 7 litres of petrol at N600 per litre, totalling N4,200.
Therefore, choosing gas as the fuel source offers substantial cost savings, amounting to approximately 40% to 55% per kilogram.
Elements needed to switch keke napep from petrol to LPG
According to both parties, the elements needed to make this switch (for 4-stroke engines only) include:
- An LPG kit and regulator that should be of high quality and replaced when required during inspection.
- A mixer assembly of high quality and replaced if broken.
- A filler unit of high quality should be replaced if broken and equipped with a non-return valve. It should be carefully positioned for ease of Autogas dispenser nozzle connection.
- A multifunction valve that is of high quality and can be replaced when required during inspection and equipped with ESV and EFV.
- An LPG tank of high quality, to be recertified every 10 years, replaced every 15 years, has high impact resistance, has high corrosion-resistant coating, and is properly strapped and secured. The tank should not be taken out for refill. They also highlighted the need to avoid using domestic cylinders and domestic regulators for this purpose.
- A high-pressure hose that is high quality has no folds/cuts and must be replaced every 24 months. A water hose should not be used in this instance.
- An electronic control unit of high quality with no folds and cuts should be replaced when required during inspection. The ECU panel should not be modified.
- A gas and petrol solenoid valve of high quality should be replaced when required during inspection, there should be no bypass, and no disabling.