Sales of the LPG-powered Ford Falcon - a model made only in Australia - have doubled in the past year as more buyers look to offset the high cost of petrol, a local report said.

Ford told The Australian newspaper that LPG Falcon sales accounted for just 6% of all Falcon sales in 2004 and that rose to 11% last year.

But so far in 2006 demand for the gas powered cars had jumped to 21%, Ford president Tom Gorman told the paper.

"At current fuel prices, motorists can expect to save approximately $40 per tank with an LPG vehicle versus an equivalent petrol model," Gorman said.

Ford is the only one of Australia's four car makers which produces a model range that runs only on gas, the paper noted.

The Ford boss reportedly welcomed yesterday's announcement of a $A1000 federal government subsidy to encourage new car buyers to have cars converted to run on LPG.

The paper added that Ford was currently engaged in an around Australia challenge to drive an LPG Falcon 13,500 kilometres around the country on about $A1000 of fuel to confirm the savings offered by gas.