Why natural gas cars are better than gasoline and diesel

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Why natural gas cars are better than gasoline and diesel-diesel

Charging the gas: Filling the CNG tank takes some getting used to. There is a standardized system, but there are different filler necks

Source: erdgas mobil

Gas-powered vehicles are underestimated. They can beat electric cars when it comes to carbon footprint, and they’re unbeatable when it comes to maintenance. Even with low fuel prices.

D.he worst thing that has happened to me with my natural gas car so far was a little odyssey through half of Berlin. The natural gas column at the Shell just around the corner was out of order and I had to look for alternatives. But unfortunately the navigation data was out of date.

The seller at the first gas station on the list on the touchscreen said: “Natural gas? We had that once. "The second gas station attendant had a more exciting anecdote ready:" The other day a taxi driver took the column with him. "Forgot to take the pistol out of the valve on the car and roar away.

The third filling station was completely out of order, I was ultimately successful at the fourth, and the gas flowed into the pressure tank. The unintentional scavenger hunt for the right type of fuel cost me a good hour.

Annoying, but in the form of a unique chain of events in my two-year history as a natural gas driver. It sums up one disadvantage: There are only a few filling stations that offer compressed CNG (Compressed Natural Gas). According to the lobby association Erdgas Mobil, there are 920 in Germany. There are almost 15,000 filling stations for gasoline and diesel drivers.

Compromise on range

In addition, the range in gas operation of a maximum of slightly more than 500 kilometers is just over half of modern gasoline-powered vehicles. Natural gas cars perform even worse than diesels, some of which can cover 1200 kilometers on one tank of fuel.

That’s how much the most environmentally friendly cars allow themselves

Why natural gas cars are better than gasoline and diesel-gasoline

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Place 10: The Citroën C1 in the version VTi 68 Stop & Start with three-cylinder gasoline engine makes it into the top ten of the VCD environmental list 2014. Six other cars do the sameHer score too, including the identically constructed Peugeot 108 and Toyota Aygo. According to the standard, all three require 3.8 liters of fuel, which means CO2 emissions of 88 g / km.

Source: Manufacturer

Why natural gas cars are better than gasoline and diesel-gasoline

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Ninth place is canceled because two cars share eighth place in the overall ranking across all vehicle classes: the Peugeot 2008, a compact crossover SUV that the manufacturer makes in the variant with three-cylinder petrol engine (1.2 Puretech 82 ETG5 Stop&Start) with a consumption of 4.9 liters (CO2 emissions: 114 g / km). And the…

Source: Manufacturer

Why natural gas cars are better than gasoline and diesel-gasoline

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…Toyota Yaris Hybrid, which requires 3.3 liters of petrol according to the standard (CO2 emissions: 77 g / km).

Source: Manufacturer

Why natural gas cars are better than gasoline and diesel-better

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The VW Polo as 1.4 TDI Bluemotion (3.1 liters; 82 g / km) and the…

Source: Manufacturer

Why natural gas cars are better than gasoline and diesel-natural

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… Citroën C4 Cactus in the diesel version BlueHDI 100, which is also approved for 3.1 liters according to the standard (CO2: 82 g / km).

Source: Manufacturer

Why natural gas cars are better than gasoline and diesel-diesel

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In fifth place is the Toyota Prius, the hybrid has a standard consumption of 3.9 liters, which corresponds to CO2 emissions of 89 grams per kilometer.

Source: Manufacturer

Why natural gas cars are better than gasoline and diesel-better

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Number four: the Audi A3 Sportback as a natural gas version 1.4 TFSI g-tron. The Ingolstadt mini station wagon requires 3.2 kilograms of compressed natural gas to travel 100 kilometers (CO2: 88 g / km).

Source: Audi

Why natural gas cars are better than gasoline and diesel-better

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With third place on the podium, the compact Peugeot 308 1.6 BlueHDi 120 made it, the diesel only swallows 3.1 liters (C02: 82 g / km).

Source: dpa-tmn

Why natural gas cars are better than gasoline and diesel-environmentally friendly cars allow themselves

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Last year it was in first place together with the Seat Mii Ecofuel and the Skoda Citigo CNG Green Tec: the VW Eco Up. The small natural gas car needs 2.9 kilos of CNG, which is a C.O2 emissions of 79 g / km. This time it is only enough for the triplets for second place because…

Source: VW

Why natural gas cars are better than gasoline and diesel-natural

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… the Lexus CT 200h, a compact hybrid, is at the top of the VCD environmental ranking. The Japanese model consumes 3.6 liters of fuel (CO2: 82 g / km). In the overall ranking niIt only takes into account consumption, but also other parameters such as exposure to noise and pollutants for people and the environment.

Source: Manufacturer

Some manufacturers compensate for the smaller radius of action by designing their natural gas vehicles to be bivalent. You also get a large fuel tank. That’s what the VW Golf demands TGI only after a maximum of 1360 kilometers after a pit stop, at more than 940 kilometers of which it swallows gasoline. He can at least use that as an advantage when the holiday trip is coming up: In Italy natural gas filling stations are still quite common, as soon as it goes to France, things look bad.

Monovalent or quasi-monovalent natural gas vehicles are the more consistent solution, not only from a technical point of view, but also from an economic point of view. You have no or only a very small additional tank with conventional fuel.

My car is also one of those convincing people: in petrol operation, the consumption is higher due to the engine technology anyway, the eleven liter tank volume only helps over a distance of around 120 kilometers. But otherwise the car forces me to run on natural gas, and that’s a good thing.

Unbeatable low operating costs

Because the type of drive has an unbeatable advantage over other combustion engines: far lower operating costs. In terms of tax, with low CO2 emissions and small cubic capacities, they are on par with modern gasoline-powered vehicles and, in any case, well below diesels. For example, the VW Passat as a natural gas car costs 42 euros a year, the Opel Zafira 70 euros. In some cases, however, this is offset by higher insurance premiums.

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According to the ambitious plan of the federal government, one million electric cars are to be on German roads by 2020. But the e-revolution is making slow progress. An intermediate result. Source: N24

The huge savings potential lies in fuel, but this is hardly known because CNG is posted in kilograms at the pump, which makes comparison difficult. 1.10 euros per kilo is hardly meaningful, in view of diesel with prices currently around 1.20 euros per liter on a national average, switching to CNG hardly seems worthwhile.

But those who use the slide rule will quickly become smarter. You just have to know: the energy content of one kilo of natural gas is roughly equivalent to that of 1.3 liters of diesel and 1.5 liters of gasoline. Or like this: One kilo of CNG has an energy content that is almost 50 percent higher than a liter of gasoline – 13.3 kilowatt hours (kWh) are compared to 8.6 kWh. One liter of diesel comes to 9.9 kWh. The liquid LPG performs worse with 6.8 kWh / l, but costs less than one euro.

3.5 euros per 100 kilometers are possible

Because of the currently very low crude oil prices, the situation has shifted to the disadvantage of natural gas, which is largely independent of the barrel. But: if you drive a Skoda Citigo G-TEC, for example, with a CNG price of 1.10 euros and a consumption of 2.9 kilos, 3.19 euros per 100 kilometers, the comparable petrol engine causes 5.90 euros in fuel costs ( at 1.31 euros per liter, current national average for E 10).

In the somewhat older VW Touran, comparable models cost around 5.20 euros compared to 8.90 euros, although the price difference between CNG and diesel is currently not that great: the 140-horsepower self-igniter needs 6.40 euros per 100 kilometers . But as soon as crude oil becomes more expensive again, CNG will again fully exploit its price advantage.

Soon the rule of thumb that the Erdgas Mobil association mentioned before the price of crude oil fell: “You can save around 30 percent compared to diesel. Compared to petrol, natural gas costs only half on average. ”The advantage over autogas LPG, which is a by-product of oil production, remains unchanged at 20 percent.

However, you have to pay in advance when buying a new car. Because natural gas cars are more expensive than gasoline cars. For example, the Seat Leon TGI now costs 21,110 euros, the comparable Otto variant 3000 euros less, but sometimes the difference is only 1500 euros. With a common mileage, the surcharge is amortized after a few years. Frequent drivers drive into the profit zone faster, and in comparison to the likewise more expensive diesels, there is often nothing to amortize. The Diesel Leon even costs 790 euros more than the pressure tank variant.

Tesla Model S in the crash test

The Euro NCAP crash test consortium tests the Tesla Model S electric car in this video, and it does so with success: The American electric sedan scores five stars – an excellent result. Source: Euro NCAP

But what good is all of this when the car blows up quickly? The increased risk of explosion in gas cars is just a misconception, and if a gas car explodes, it is usually an LPG vehicle with a sloppily retrofitted gas system.

Natural gas cars, on the other hand, almost always come straight from the factory. And crash tests have long since shown that the opposite is true: The ADAC has found that the underfloor tanks are well protected with a metal cage and armed for all possible types of accidents. In addition, the TuV tests the containers for their resistance up to 600 bar, at a third of the pressure CNG is stored in the tank when the cars are on the road.

Turbocharger causes image change

Natural gas cars are not always the fastest there. Especially when the engine lacks turbocharging, as is the case with the Fiat Qubo 1.4 8V Natural Power. The minivan’s natural gas engine only has 70 hp, and at 150 km / h the sluggish propulsion is over.

But the models with a charger put real pressure on an everyday car. Opel has a 150 hp natural gas engine in its portfolio, as does VW, for example in the Touran where it comes to 220 Newton meters (Nm). With 156 PS and 270 Nm, the Mercedes B-Class Natural Gas Drive is even more powerful. The van accelerates to 100 km / h in 9.2 seconds, a maximum of 200 is possible. The E-Class is slightly faster with the same CNG two-liter turbo: 220 km / h.

Even the nippy natural gas passenger cars are holding back when it comes to CO2: the Mercedes models emit 117 and 116 g / km. Sometimes fresh diesels come in lower values, for example the TDI-Golf with 85 versus 94 g / km for the TGI. But natural gas still burns much cleaner: hardly any particulate matter comes out of the exhaust.

More sustainable than an electric car

And if you make an effort, you can even drive sustainably in a natural gas car. Only pure organic CNG has to be in the tank. This is synthetically, i.e. artificially produced methane, which is in no way inferior to the gas from the ground in terms of quality. Mostly residual and waste materials, liquid manure or organic waste are produced.

When bio-CNG burns, only as much CO2 is released as the organic raw materials used to produce it have previously been extracted from the atmosphere. You drive CO2-neutrally. As a natural gas driver, you are about as eco-friendly as you are in an electric car that charges up electricity generated from renewable sources. With the current electricity mix, however, this is as unlikely as having one of the currently 182 bio natural gas filling stations nearby. Only: With a CNG drive on the way, you don’t have an electric battery on board, the production of which is itself responsible for a huge amount of CO2.

These are the best cars of the year

Why natural gas cars are better than gasoline and diesel-natural

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“Bild am Sonntag” and the European “Auto Bild” group have awarded the Golden Steering Wheel for the 39th time. The jury awarded the VW Golf Sportsvan the best compact car / crossover.

Source: Volkswagen

Why natural gas cars are better than gasoline and diesel-natural

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The VW Passat won the middle class category.

Source: Volkswagen

Why natural gas cars are better than gasoline and diesel-natural

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The Porsche Macan won the SUV class.

Source: Porsche

Why natural gas cars are better than gasoline and diesel-environmentally friendly cars allow themselves

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The Porsche Cayman GTS won the sports car category.

Source: Porsche

Why natural gas cars are better than gasoline and diesel-cars

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For the readers, the Mazda2 small car was the best.

Source: obs

Why natural gas cars are better than gasoline and diesel-better

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And among the convertibles, the Porsche 911 Targa was ahead.

Source: Porsche

Why natural gas cars are better than gasoline and diesel-environmentally friendly cars allow themselves

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The VW Golf GTE was recognized as the most environmentally friendly vehicle.

Source: Volkswagen

Why natural gas cars are better than gasoline and diesel-cars

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Elon Musk, the founder and head of the electric car manufacturer Tesla (here with the new Model X) received the honorary steering wheel..

Source: REUTERS

After all, more than 20 percent bio-CNG is added to natural gas on average at filling stations. That alone lowers real CO2 emissions. In the case of vehicle tax, however, this is not rewarded – the value in the vehicle documents is decisive here. However, refueling with biogas also relieves the wallet, because a kilo usually costs 15 to 20 cents less.

And should winter come, a little more CNG will fit in the tank. Because when it’s cold, the gas contracts. Depending on the consumption of the car, this can extend the range by around 20 kilometers. Possibly enough to get to the nearest suitable gas station without having to resort to gasoline.

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