LPGLPG stands for Liquefied Petroleum Gas, and is becoming an increasingly common sight on petrol filling stations these days. What makes it really noticeable though is its price - its up to half that of normal petrol or diesel, and you'll be except from the London congestion charge!
You may be wondering exactly what LPG is, and how is a gas a liquid anyway?! In a nutshell, LPG is a gas made of a mix of butane and propane gases (which are usually found in cigarette lighters and gas-powered barbeques) which turns to a liquid when stored at high pressures, allowing for larger quantities to be stored in a given amount of space. Because of this, cars that run on LPG need to be modified to carry a high-pressure tank, and the filling process is slightly more complicated than with petrol or diesel.
At the moment, only standard four-stroke petrol engines can be converted to run on LPG and petrol. There is some work on creating systems to allow for a LPG and diesel mix for diesel engines, but these are in their infancy at the moment. For more information, have a look at the DTI funded http://www.boostlpg.co.uk/ site which contains a large amount of information about the basic facts, the conversion process, using LPG and so on.
Electric CarsYou may be surprised to know that, in the very early days of automotive history, the electric car was king and held a lot of the early speed and distance records. However since then the internal combustion engine came to be dominant. But, in more recent years interest began to grow again and the electric car was seen by some as the holy grail of motoring with a large amount of funding being put into developing electric cars from a lot of the large manufacturers. However, since those heady days at the end of the last centaury, the emphasis has changed away from fully electric cars somewhat with large manufacturers such as Ford ditching their electric car offerings altogether.
But its not all doom and gloom for the electric car! Although a lot of the major manufacturers have begun looking at hybrid and hydrogen cars, there is still a lot of activity amongst the smaller manufacturers in developing electric cars, and several companies importing electric cars into the UK. Electric cars are ideal for city driving, where their low top speed and restricted range can usaully be safely ignored, but where their impressive torque give them a really nippy and nimble feel. They are also exempt from the London congestion charge!
At the moment the market seems to be a bit fragmented, especially since the loss of Ford's "Th!nk" electric car, but there are sites dedicated to keeping up with the latest news and developments such as http://www.evuk.co.uk/.
If you've the electric transportation bug you might also be interest to know that you can get electric mopeds. These have similar performance to the usual 50cc petrol mopeds and, perhaps addressing a weakness of electric cars, look identical to their petrol counterparts. Again, these really are ideal for the congested city traveller.