The Czech Republic amply demonstrates the rightful place for Natural Gas Vehicles (NGV) as an alternative fuel component of its national fleet: advantageous prices, the increasing number of filling stations, and the wider offer of new models of passenger cars all stand behind the record consumption of compressed natural gas (CNG) in 2018 and continued investment in 2019.
In 2018, sales of compressed natural gas (CNG) increased by 12.2% to a total of 75.8 million cubic meters. Currently, almost 23,000 CNG vehicles run on Czech roads, a year-on-year increase of 20%.
“Last year, the number of CNG public stations grew by 16 to 185. More will be added this year. There are also more than 50 non-public company filling stations. The density of the filling station network today is such that it allows a smooth CNG ride”, said Lenka Kovačovská, executive director of the Czech Gas Association (CPS), adding: “The largest share of CNG consumption is by public transport buses which now operate in more than 60 Czech cities. Especially in times of recurrent inversions and dangerous smog situations, the importance of using CNG in transport is growing.”
CNG wagons are characterized by extremely low NOx emissions, solid particulate matter (PM) and carcinogenic hydrocarbons (PAHs), the components with the worst impact on human health produced by conventional cars. The added value of CNG cars compared to diesel or petrol cars is also a quieter operation as well as significantly lower fuel costs while maintaining the purchase price.
“The CNG price including the tax is around CZK 25 (USD 1.09) per kilogram. This corresponds to less than CZK 18 per cubic meter, equivalent to one litre of petrol. Thus, the cost of traveling one mile is roughly USD 0.045. The purchase price of CNG cars is comparable to conventional vehicles, and in some cases leasing companies offer better business conditions for environmentally friendly cars”, reminded L. Kovačovská.
For CNG cars, considerable attention is paid to safety, which is therefore actually higher compared to petrol, diesel or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cars. This is evidenced by the fact that while petrol and LPG belong to the 1st class of hazards and diesel to Class 3, CNG belongs to Class 4.
The Czech Gas Association (ČPS) is an independent association of companies and experts operating in the gas industry and related fields.
Source: Czech Gas Association
The Audi A3 Sportback g-tron is starting the new model year with a technology update. Thanks to its increased CNG tank volume, the compact model can cover around 400 kilometres (248.5 miles) (WLTP cycle) in gas operation. Presales at dealerships in Germany will kick off on March 7. The basic price will be EUR 30,600.
The Audi A3 Sportback g-tron forms part of an integrated and sustainable mobility concept from the brand with the four rings. Equipped with a new 1.5 TFSI engine producing 96 kW (131 metric hp), the A3 Sportback g-tron sets standards for efficiency and economy. To enable the four-cylinder engine to run on these fuels, Audi engineers modified its cylinder head, turbocharging, fuel injection system and catalytic converter. Compared to petrol, combustion of natural gas emits 25 percent less CO2 due to the lowest carbon content of all hydrocarbons. In addition, particulate emissions remain very low.
Just as before, there are two tanks made of glass fibre-reinforced polymer (GFRP/CFRP) beneath the luggage compartment floor of the five-door car, each of which hold roughly seven kilograms (15.4 lb) of gas. They reduce luggage space only marginally and are constructed from a composite material, making them very lightweight.
In the new Audi A3 Sportback g-tron, an additional steel cylinder filled with four kilograms (8.8 lb) of CNG extends the range during gas operation. Reducing the size of the gasoline tank not only frees up the necessary space for this additional gas tank, it also makes the new Audi A3 Sportback g-tron a quasi-monovalent vehicle. Using the specific benefits and dimensions of each of the two tank technologies to its advantage, the intelligent combination of GFRP tanks and the gas tank makes optimum use of the existing installation space. The petrol tank, which now holds nine litres (2.4 US gal), provides the conventional mobility reserve.
The two plastic tanks storing the gas with an operating pressure of up to 200 bar follow the Audi lightweight design philosophy. Thanks to their layout, they weigh 66 percent less than comparable steel cylinders. Their inner layer is a gas-tight polyamide bladder.
The HAM group has opened its first service station in the autonomous community of Asturias, Spain. It is located in the central slaughterhouse of Asturias, on Oviedo Avenue, in the town of Noreña, less than 500 meters from the N-634.
This is an important land route that runs through the autonomous communities of the Basque Country, Cantabria, Asturias and Galicia; through which circulate a significant number of vehicles that can now refuel compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG). In addition, it is located a short distance from the A-64, known as the Oviedo-Villaviciosa motorway.
The new service station opened by HAM offers all users a liquefied natural gas (LNG) pump for trucks and a double compressed natural gas (CNG) jet for light vehicles and trucks. This double jet system allows two vehicles to refuel compressed natural gas (CNG) at the same time in the same pump.
This natural gas supply station will be open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, allowing customers to access the supply with the HAM card for professionals and with any credit or debit card.
DATS24 has stated that this is the start signal for the opening of 25 new sites where compressed natural gas (CNG) can be refuelled in Flanders and Wallonia. Other locations include Sint-Truiden, Tienen, Sint-Pieters-Leeuw, Wommelgem and Ronse alongside Eupen, Beyne-Heusay, Basecles, Ath, Thuin, Frameries, Amay, Nivelles and Tournai.
An increasing number of natural gas vehicles are being registered in Belgium. By 2020, the number of CNG stations in should increase from 110 to 170. Almost all other fuel suppliers have started building CNG installations at their filling stations. Also in Europe, CNG is making rapid progress, with ambitious expansion plans in France (+250), Spain (+300), Germany (+1,000) and Italy (+300), and other countries.
According to a March 2018 study by the Commission for Electricity and Gas Regulation (CREG), driving on natural gas has an important role to play in the greening of our mobility: “Based on this study, CNG appears to be a real alternative to traditional fuels and demonstrates its relevance both ecologically (sharp fall in fine particles and nitrogen oxides) and economically. In the context of the energy transition, it is important to remember the important contribution that natural gas could represent and encourage its use in the field of mobility.”
“Air quality is deteriorating sharply in Belgium, especially in Flanders. Drivers want to be green, but with the same level comfort and at no extra cost. CNG vehicles certainly offer the huge advantage of being cheaper and drivable everywhere, as well as making a substantial contribution to a healthier living environment”, says Raf Flebus, Business Unit Manager of DATS 24.
Source: Petrol Plaza
The European Consortium ECO-GATE, co-financed by the European Union and led by NEDGIA, the gas distributor of the Naturgy group, presented the ECO-G brand, which it has designed as a unique hallmark to rename natural gas for vehicles.
In a scenario in which oil-based fuels are still the majority, the new brand revolves around the idea of an “intelligent ecology”: natural gas is the most appropriate ecological, economic and present alternative to promote sustainable mobility, both terrestrial as maritime.
With a modern design and a lot of personality, the ECO-G brand has a unique typeface that allows it to adapt to the organic shapes of a leaf. The design has been done by the branding consultant Soulman Insight Ful Thinking, which is also a partner of the European consortium.
With this new brand, ECO-GATE aims to unify the different ways in which the technology that uses natural gas in its role as a fuel for land and maritime mobility has been named. In this way, ECO-G will function as a denomination seal and the brand can be used by manufacturers of land or sea vehicles, users of vehicles and technology companies, marketers and distributors in the field of mobility with natural gas.
Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) will participate in the World Agricultural Expo in Tulare, Calif., this week with a theme of “Natural Gas is Clean, Renewable and Affordable.”
The utility says its display theme will highlight the important role natural gas plays in California’s clean energy future. Visitors to the SoCalGas exhibit booth will learn about the benefits of natural gas by taking the “SoCalGas Challenge,” a series of five stations including information on residential energy efficiency programs, business energy efficiency programs, customer assistance programs, natural gas vehicles and renewable energy.
“Our display at the World Agricultural Expo is a way for SoCalGas to show how natural gas can help the state achieve its climate goals in a way that is affordable for all Californians,” says Sharon Tomkins, vice president of customer solutions and strategy at SoCalGas. “The San Joaquin Valley’s agricultural and dairy industries, which can produce renewable fuels, uniquely positions the region to play a large role in attaining those goals.”
Last year, SoCalGas began offering renewable natural gas at its fuelling stations. The utility also rolled out a new “try before you buy” leasing program for fleet owners interested in switching from diesel to natural gas.
Volkswagen has completely overhauled its natural gas models and is equipping its Polo and Golf TGI with a third natural gas tank. This allows the Polo TGI to now travel up to 60 kilometres further in pure compressed natural gas (CNG) mode than its predecessor. The gain in range in the Golf TGI is up to 80 kilometres. In the Golf, a new 1.5 litre TGI four-cylinder engine with 96 kW / 130 PS ensures that none of the driving pleasure is lost.
Anyone who already drives a compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle also benefits from comparably low fuel prices in many countries. In Germany, for example, the cost saving compared to a diesel vehicle is currently 20%, or 40% compared to a petrol vehicle. Understandably, drivers of natural gas vehicles only want to use petrol in exceptional cases. Volkswagen has therefore equipped its natural gas models of the Polo TGI and Golf TGI with a third natural gas tank made of specially coated, high-strength steel. The Golf’s tank has a volume of 23 litres and increases the total compressed natural gas (CNG) tank volume to 115 litres, or 17.3 kg respectively, which offers a range of up to 422 kilometres in WLTP.
On the Polo with 1.0 three-cylinder engine (66 kW / 90 PS) the additional tank carries 16.5 litres and extends the natural gas storage to 91.5 litres in total, or 13.8 kg respectively, meaning that the Polo can travel up to 368 kilometres on compressed natural gas (CNG) in WLTP. As a back-up, both models come with a petrol tank – albeit a much smaller version.
For improved driving dynamics and efficiency, the Golf TGI comes with a new 1.5 litre four-cylinder engine, which is powerful, efficiency and environmentally friendly. Proof of this comes from its fuel consumption of just 3.6 kg – 3.5 kg natural gas over 100 kilometres, and CO2 emissions of just 98-95 g/km. The new 1.5-litre TGI engine in the Golf uses the innovative TGI Miller combustion process with a high compression ratio of 12.5:1, to increase efficiency and decrease CO2 emissions. A turbocharger with variable turbine geometry increases the boost pressure, adding more air into the cylinders. This allows the 1.5-litre TGI engine to accelerate powerfully at any time from low speeds.
Driving on natural gas is not only good for your wallet, it is also good for the environment. Compared to petrol or diesel, natural gas contains a significantly higher amount of energy and a lower carbon fraction. This means that driving in compressed natural gas (CNG) mode produces around 25 per cent fewer CO2 emissions than with petrol. What is more, natural gas generally combusts with less emissions than petrol or diesel. The exhaust gas contains significantly less carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide (NOx), while the fraction of soot or fine particles is minimal.
1) Polo TGI natural gas (CNG) consumption in kg/100 km: urban 4.4–4.1 / extra-urban 2.9–2.7 / combined 3.4–3.2; CO2 emissions in g/km: 93–88; efficiency class: A+
2) Golf TGI natural gas (CNG) consumption in kg/100 km: urban 4.7–4.5 / extra-urban 2.9 / combined 3.6–3.5; CO2 emissions in g/km: 98–95; efficiency class: A+
Source: Volkswagen UK Media
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles reinforces its commitment to compressed natural gas (CNG) by signing an agreement with Gasnam. With this agreement, the brand establishes its strong commitment to the development and promotion of compressed natural gas (CNG) as a real alternative in Spain, a market in which this option is still a minority despite its many advantages.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles already broke a spear in favour of natural gas last year with the launch of the Caddy CNG. With three variants (Furgón, Kombi and Trendline) and a 1.4 TGI engine of 110 hp, in a few months it has become the commercial vehicle with this best-selling technology in Spain during 2018, with 443 units delivered.
Gasnam is an association that encourages the use of natural and renewable gas in mobility, both road and sea, in the Iberian Peninsula. Its objectives are the improvement of air quality, the decarbonisation of transport and the promotion of the circular economy. It has 126 partners from multiple sectors related to ECO mobility in its different facets: energy, automotive, engineering, freight and passenger transport, ports, shipping, shipyards, universities and administrations.
With this agreement Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles will contribute to the development of ECO mobility by actively participating in the Working Groups where the positions that will be defended before the administration to promote sustainable mobility through the use of CNG are agreed. As a preferred partner of Gasnam, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles will have 16 votes in the Board of Directors and will benefit from the numerous synergies derived from their active participation in workshops and work breakfasts, among others. Likewise, the brand will join its efforts to those of Gasnam for the dissemination of the actions it carries out, in order to promote sustainable mobility.
Compressed natural gas (CNG) is a cleaner, quieter and cheaper fuel than diesel or petrol, and can save up to 30% compared to the first and up to 50% compared to the second. In addition, thanks to its ECO label, vehicles such as Caddy GNC enjoy free access to cities such as Madrid or Barcelona in case of high pollution episodes, as well as parking facilities. The CNG engine has significantly lower emission levels, up to 23% less CO2 emissions and 80% less nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has closed the best year in the history of the brand in Spain. With more than 18,600 units registered in 2018, the result of the brand increased by 12.2%. A growth higher than the total market, which stood at 7.7% with 214,207 units enrolled.
The additional outlets include 25 which will be added to the network run by Dats 24, a fuel company part the Colruyt distribution group which made the announcement at the opening of the Brussels auto show. This will bring the specialised fuel brand’s compressed natural gas (CNG) stations to 88.
Natural gas cars are designed for every user profile, they are affordable and they offer an immediate solution for improving air quality, factors which explain why more and more of these vehicles are being registered in Brussels, Dats 24 noted.
Compressed natural gas (CNG) gives off up to 31% less CO2 and reduces fine-particle and NOx emissions by 75%, according to a study by the Electricity and Gas Regulation Commission.
More and more manufacturers are opting for compressed natural gas (CNG). “The market is finally beginning to take off and we’re delighted at that,” said a Dats source, citing Fiat, Opel, Volkswagen, Audi, Seat, Skoda, Ssangyong and Toyota as companies manufacturing natural-gas cars.
According to the Mobility and Transport Department, about 4,000 cars powered by natural gas were registered in 2018 in Belgium. When trucks and vans are added, the total amounts to about 5,000, double the 2017 figure.
At the end of 2018, there were 14,200 CNG vehicles and 11,900 electric cars on Belgian roads.
Source: The Brussels Times
SEAT is enhancing the compressed natural gas-powered variant of the popular Leon with a new 1.5 litre TGI engine and increased CNG range with the integration of three gas tanks. The new Leon TGI Evo – built at SEAT’s Martorell facilities – continues the success of the Leon TGI and Leon ST TGI but advances the technology to make it even more relevant to the market and further push the uptake of CNG-fuelled vehicles. SEAT is at the heart of the CNG trend, with compressed natural gas variants of the Ibiza, Mii and recently released Arona pushing adoption, and now joined by the Leon TGI Evo and Leon ST TGI Evo.
The Leon TGI Evo’s advanced turbocharged four-cylinder, direct-injection 1.5 litre engine, (based on the TSI petrol engine of the same capacity), integrates an advanced stop-start system, the latest generation of variable turbine geometry turbocharging systems and a Miller cycle combustion process to maximise efficiency and performance.
Components inside the engine have been re-engineered to meet the demands of running on CNG; chrome-nickel covered pistons incorporate new segments modified to use gas, as well as reinforced valve seats to increase wear resistance, and valves have been raised to improve gas circulation towards the interior of the chamber.
The Leon TGI Evo produces 130 PS of power at 5,000rpm – a 20PS increase over its 1.4 litre predecessor – and 200 Nm of torque between 1,400rpm and 4,000rpm and can be linked to either a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox.
As with other vehicles in the SEAT CNG line-up, the Leon TGI Evo only uses petrol as an alternative fuel when the CNG tanks are empty, but there is now even greater CNG storage capacity as the SEAT Leon TGI Evo benefits from three gas tanks – two of which benefit from advanced lightweight carbon fibre composite construction. The Leon TGI Evo has a gas capacity of 17.7kg giving a range of 500km in CNG mode, and, thanks to the automatic switch to petrol, the range is extended by an additional 150 km.
The Leon TGI Evo, which is available for the first time in FR and Xcellence – in addition to the Style trim -, adds to SEAT’s comprehensive CNG range, with vehicles that not only reduce emissions, environmental impact and running costs, but at the same time combine advanced technologies, driveability and stylish aesthetics.