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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

CNG Market Projected to Reach $36 Million by 2023

Compressed natural gas (CNG) has gained popularity in the market and is projected to reach $36,035 million by 2023 growing at a CAGR of 14.1% from 2017 to 2023. Its eco-friendly nature, better performance advantages, and reduced maintained cost of the engine, according to a report by Allied Market Research, is making CNG to skyrocket.

At present, the market is driven by low-cost of CNG with growth in energy requirement across the world. Continuous exploration for non-conventional sources of energy and growth of the lager shale gas market also fuel the market, says the report.

Furthermore, stringent government regulations on account of environmental concern and increase in subsidy among various regions such as Asia-Pacific and LAMEA has advanced the demand for CNG in the automotive fuel market, points out Allied Market Research. However, the initial investment cost is too high and limited number of fuel stations restrain the growth of the market.

The light duty vehicles in end user has the highest growth rate in terms of value due to the development of better and affordable storage tanks for CNG in light duty vehicles, according to the research.

Asia-Pacific is the largest consumer of compressed natural gas as transit buses and delivery & refuse truck fleets prefer CNG over fossil fuel. In addition, the Asia-Pacific and Europe region collectively accounted for approximately three-fourths of the global market share by revenue in 2016. Emerging economies such as China, India, Pakistan, and Argentina are estimated to dominate the market for the coming years, concludes the report.

Source: Petrol Plaza

Kansas Gas Service Increases Rebate for CNG Vehicles

Kansas Gas Service, a division of ONE Gas, Inc., announced it is increasing the rebate amount available to customers who participate in their compressed natural gas (CNG) Vehicle Rebate program.

Effective September 1, the natural gas distribution company’s customers can now receive a $3,000 rebate for the cost of converting or purchasing a dedicated or bi-fuel natural gas vehicle. This is an increase of $2,000 from the previous rebate amount.

Kansas Gas Service’s program is supported through a limited fund provided in partnership with the Kansas City Regional Clean Cities Coalition.

Rebates must be applied for within 90 days of vehicle purchase. For a rebate application and complete program terms and conditions, visit www.kansasgasservice.com.  

Source: Kansas Gas Service

NGVA Europe Releases 2019 Natural Gas Vehicle Catalogue

Today, over 1.4 million Natural Gas Vehicles (NGVs) are driving on European roads. These vehicles are supported by a vast European network of 3,665 compressed natural gas (CNG) and 214 liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuelling stations. Both vehicle fleet and station network are constantly expanding across Europe.

Andrea Gerini, NGVA Europe Secretary General, commented: “The 2019 catalogue confirms the major role of gas across the different segments of the European mobility market. Thanks to the realization of the circular economy model, CNG and LNG technology can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 95%, representing an important asset for our environment and domestic industry.”

Natural gas is transport comforts also with lower noise levels of up to 50% less compared to diesel. At the same time, NGVs are affordable solutions able to support both personal mobility and freight transport.

The catalogue is available for download here.

Source: NGVA Europe

SKODA Introduces the First CNG-Powered SUV

The SKODA KAMIQ comes with a choice of five different engines offering power outputs that range from 66 kW (90 PS) to 110 kW (150 PS). Customers can choose between three petrol versions, one diesel or – as a first in SKODA’s SUV family – a 1.0 G-TEC. This efficient and low emission engine, which will follow in the fourth quarter of 2019, runs on natural gas.

“Although the SKODA KAMIQ’s petrol and diesel engines already demonstrate excellent consumption, we still opted to offer the even more eco-friendly 1.0 G-TEC. We are therefore producing the first ŠKODA SUV to run on efficient CNG,” said Christian Strube, SKODA AUTO Board Member for Technical Development.

The portfolio of engines available for the SKODA KAMIQ comprises five modern and efficient versions with direct injection and turbocharging. The CNG variant of the three-cylinder 1.0 G-TEC delivering 66 kW (90 PS) is the first engine in a SKODA SUV to run on natural gas. When running on compressed natural gas (CNG), the engine generates lower CO2 and NOx emissions compared to conventional fuels.

As standard, all engines come with a 6-speed manual gearbox (5-speed for the 1.0 TSI outputting 70 kW / 95 PS). A 7-speed DSG is available as an option for all versions with power outputs of 85 kW (115 PS) or more.

Source: SKODA

Hexagon Agrees Deal with CNG Delivery Company Certarus

Hexagon Mobile Pipeline, a business of Hexagon Composites, has been awarded an order for TITAN® gas transport modules from Certarus Ltd., the North American market leading provider of fully integrated compressed natural gas (CNG) delivery solutions, with a total value of USD 7.3 million (approx. NOK 63 million).

The Mobile Pipeline® modules will support Certarus’ continued growth, including its expansion in the eastern Canada mining sector and other industrial markets across North America.   

“Our long partnership with Certarus continues to grow and we are pleased to develop our product innovation with such a leader in the market,” says Jon A. Smith, President of Hexagon Mobile Pipeline. “The relationship continues well beyond the purchase, as the service and support for these modules ensure safe delivery and assets that reach their life expectancy. We continue to see new energy transformation opportunities for CNG to supply the growing demand for cleaner and more efficient energy use, as well as being an enabler for accelerating carbon reduction for our partners.”

A portion of this order will also replace Type 3 modules in Certarus’ fleet, with the more advanced and cost-effective Type 4, carbon fiber technology contained in all Mobile Pipeline® products, as well as being the first fleet to receive the newly launched TITAN® 2. The TITAN® 2 provides the ability to utilize the weight efficiency of the TITAN® in an easily upgradable configuration, if volumes warrant.

“The ability to provide carbon reduction solutions to large scale off-grid fuel consumers in all industries has been a driver of our growth,” says Curtis Philippon, President & CEO of Certarus Ltd. “We appreciate the customer focused innovation at Hexagon. The addition of the TITAN® 2 product further expands the overall addressable off-grid market that Certarus can economically support.”

Deliveries of the TITAN® modules are scheduled for the second half of 2019.

Source: Hexagon Composites

Enhanced Natural Gas Storage to Help Reduce Global Warming

Researchers from KAIST University have designed plastic-based materials that can store natural gas more effectively. These new materials can not only make large-scale, cost-effective, and safe natural gas storage possible, but further hold a strong promise for combating global warming.

Natural gas is a clean energy alternative. It is stored by compression, liquefaction, or adsorption. Among these, adsorbed natural gas (ANG) storage is a more efficient, cheaper, and safer alternative to conventional compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage approaches that have drawbacks such as low storage efficiency, high costs, and safety concerns. However, developing adsorptive materials that can more fully exploit the advantages of ANG storage has remained a challenging task.

A KAIST research team led by Professor Cafer T. Yavuz from the Graduate School of Energy, Environment, Water, and Sustainability (EEWS), in collaboration with Professor Mert Atilhan’s group from Texas A&M University, synthesised 29 unique porous polymeric structures with inherent flexibility, and tested their methane gas uptake capacity at high pressures. These porous polymers had varying synthetic complexities, porosities, and morphologies, and the researchers subjected each porous polymer to pure methane gas under various conditions to study the ANG performances.

Of these 29 distinct chemical structures, COP-150 was particularly noteworthy as it achieved a high deliverable gravimetric methane working capacity when cycled between 5 and 100 bar at 273 K, which is 98% of the total uptake capacity. This result surpassed the target set by the United States Department of Energy (US DOE). COP-150 is the first ever structure to fulfil both the gravimetric and volumetric requirements of the US DOE for successful vehicular use, and the total cost to produce the COP-150 adsorbent was only 1 USD per kilogram.

COP-150 can be produced using freely available and easily accessible plastic materials, and moreover, its synthesis takes place at room temperature, open to the air, and no previous purification of the chemicals is required. The pressure-triggered flexible structure of COP-150 is also advantageous in terms of the total working capacity of deliverable methane for real applications.

The research team believed that the increased pressure flexes the network structure of COP-150 showing “swelling” behaviour, and suggested that the flexibility provides rapid desorption and thermal management, while the hydrophobicity and the nature of the covalently bonded framework allow these promising materials to tolerate harsh conditions.

This swelling mechanism of expansion-contraction solves two other major issues, the team noted. Firstly, when using adsorbents based on such a mechanism, unsafe pressure spikes that may occur due to temperature swings can be eliminated. In addition, contamination can also be minimized, since the adsorbent remains contracted when no gas is stored.

Professor Yavuz said, “We envision a whole host of new designs and mechanisms to be developed based on our concept. Since natural gas is a much cleaner fuel than coal and petroleum, new developments in this realm will help switching to the use of less polluting fuels.”

Professor Atilhan agreed the most important impact of their research is on the environment. “Using natural gas more than coal and petroleum will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We believe, one day, we might see vehicles equipped with our materials that are run by a cleaner natural gas fuel,” he added.

Source: KAIST

Naturgy Inaugurates Its First CNG Station in Cartagena

Naturgy has inaugurated the first public natural gas supply station for vehicles in Cartagena. The plant, which allows the supply of compressed natural gas (CNG), is located on Pedro Sánchez Meca Avenue in Cartagena, in a strategic location close to the port activity.

This new refueling point is added to the one currently held by the energy company in the Murcia neighbourhood of the Era Alta and which supplies compressed natural gas (CNG) to both public fleets and private vehicles. In addition, it is expected that in the coming months a third will be inaugurated in Molina de Segura that will allow refuelling of both light and heavy vehicles by having suppliers in both compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) form.

The implementation of this new natural gas supply station is part of the company’s mobility promotion project, which aims to enhance the use of natural gas as a fuel as the best sustainable alternative to fossil fuels derived from petroleum.

This new public natural gas supply station represents a further step for Naturgy in its commitment to move forward in the transition to clean energy transport models that contribute to improving air quality and, therefore, people’s health.

The new map of vehicular natural gas recharging points in Spain will allow to meet the increase in demand in the coming years and strengthen the availability of this fuel in the market, given the increase that vehicles powered by natural gas are experiencing.

Source: Naturgy

Snam and IP to Build 26 New Natural Gas Stations in Italy

Snam and IP have agreed to construct an initial 26 new natural gas refuelling stations, which will open across IP’s distribution network in Italy in 2020. The new openings comprise the first phase of the 2018 framework agreement between IP and Snam to build up to 200 new natural gas stations in Italy. The initiative is part of the companies’ commitment to promoting sustainable mobility.

Snam and IP have jointly identified the fuelling stations with IP branded fuel, at which they will install compressed natural gas (CNG) supply for cars. Two of these stations (in Veneto and in Emilia-Romagna) will also supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) for heavy vehicles. Of the 26 new plants, six will be built in Lazio, five in Lombardy, five in Tuscany, two in Emilia-Romagna, two in Veneto, one in Abruzzo, one in Calabria, one in the Marche, one in Piedmont, one in Puglia and one in Puglia in Umbria, mostly along highways.

This initiative is a significant growth opportunity for IP, consistent with the company’s vision to innovate and provide a multi-energy offer, from diesel to petrol, gas and ultrafast electricity. The new stations add to the 46 existing natural gas stations on the IP network, demonstrating a concrete contribution to the construction of the infrastructure supporting the country’s transition to sustainable mobility. The investment in new LNG stations in particular represents an important step for the network’s ability to support heavy gas transportation.

The agreement with IP is part of Snam’s commitment to boosting the growth of the Italian distribution network of CNG and LNG, through direct investments and agreements with other operators. Italy is the European leader NGV mobility with 1 million natural gas vehicles and around 1,350 service stations. This number is set to increase as a result of Snam’s investments. Snam4Mobility, a 100% subsidiary of Snam, has currently delivered 6 plants and contracted over 70 under a plan that provides for an overall construction of around 300 new CNG and LNG stations in the coming years. 

Source: Snam

Valencia Fleet Management Company Goes Green with New CNG Vehicles

Iberofleeting, a Valencia company that is a benchmark in the integral and outsourced management of corporate vehicle fleets, has recently managed the renewal of the Serunión Vending fleet, which, also committed to sustainability and to the maximum reduction of harmful emissions from its vehicles, has opted for NGVs that have the “ECO” label from the Spanish General Directorate of Traffic (DGT).

This will be an added value not only in environmental terms but also in the purely professional aspect, since the “ECO” label will allow the vehicles to access all city centres.

After the relevant analysis carried out by Iberofleeting, finally, the models selected for the best performance of the tasks requested by Serunión Vending have been of the Volkswagen brand and, more specifically, the Caddy and Crafter in their configuration of compressed natural gas (CNG) engines being more than recognised in both the quality of the product and the after-sales service of the brand.

In this fleet renewal for Serunión Vending, Iberofleeting has provided comprehensive management since the preliminary study of the brand and models most suitable for the use and performance required, exterior signage and interior equipment.

Source: Iberofleeting