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A CNG Hybrid from Switzerland

With climate change, energy providers such as the Holdigaz Group are facing challenging times. Therefore Holdigaz, a French compressed natural gas (CNG) and biogas supply company founded in 2005, opens up further business fields. The company is supporting the development of a particularly light CNG hybrid car by taking a 36% stake in Softcar SA in Freiburg . Holdigaz CEO Philippe Petitpierre presented a first model of this vehicle on a scale of 1:1 at the Annual General Meeting.

Philippe Petitpierre explains, “I expect the car to go into mass production by 2020.” The Holdigaz CEO is convinced that vehicles that have a particularly low carbon footprint fit very well into a company that is in the forefront Wants to profile sustainability. Holdigaz brings its experience and expertise in CNG/biogas development to the ultralight softcar to turn the former electric vehicle into a CNG hybrid vehicle. “We got Softcar to use our energy, CNG or biogas, to improve the vehicle’s performance,” explains Philippe Petitpierre. The production version will one day reach top speeds between 135 and 140 km/h.

According to the Holdigaz CEO, the soft car should also have a range of 700 kilometres. The drive is provided by a hybrid drive in which an electric and a small internal combustion engine clamp together. From the CNG or biogas carried in two tanks on board, the electricity required for the battery and the electric motor is produced. The uniqueness is not only the benefits of the car, but also the bodywork. It is 100% recyclable and is made from biopolymers obtained from food waste. The compact vehicle with four to five seats also has a modular design so that it can be used for private and freight transport.

Holdigaz has so far supported the development of softcar with 5 million francs. Six patents were registered for the vehicle. “A Renault Zoë consists of 40,000 different parts. A softcar, on the other hand, only consists of 1800 parts, which makes it much easier to mount the vehicle”, adds Petitpierre. The next step will be to build a factory in western Switzerland within the next six to eight months, when the ultra-light CNG hybrid cars will run off the production line. 

Source: CNG-Mobility Switzerland