SKODA G-TEC models “make an important, additional contribution to reducing CO2 emissions”
In addition, natural gas burns nearly without particles. Even when using gas from natural deposits, CO2 reductions are up to 25 per cent lower than with petrol. Adding 20 per cent of biomethane, as is currently done in Germany, for instance, makes for even greater CO2 reductions of 35 to 40 per cent.
On the other hand, Volkswagen board members have recently said that they want to move away from CNG engines and will stop developing this technology. How can those two views be reconciled?
Paul: There is no contradiction between the current range of CNG models and these statements on long-term development. The automotive industry engages in very long-range planning, with strategies designed for as much as a decade ahead. Therefore, CNG engines will continue to be a part of the range over the coming years.
Paul: To the vehicle or the customer it makes no difference at all, but it makes a big difference to the environment. Biomethane and synthetic methane, also known as e-gas, are so-called drop-in energy sources which can be added to natural gas in any combination. There is no need for technical modifications to the engine or the vehicle. Synthetic methane, produced from solar or wind energy, has a similar potential.
Unlike petrol or diesel, CNG has to be stored in the vehicle under high pressure. How does this affect safety?
The CNG tanks installed in the ŠKODA G-TEC models are engineered, produced and certified to meet the highest industry standards. In addition, all the CNG tank components are designed to withstand extreme conditions. The pressure inside the tank is around 200 bar. However, these tanks are designed and approved for pressures up to 600 bar, which is three times what they usually encounter in practice.
Why do G-TEC engines still have to use petrol in certain situations?
Even when outside temperatures drop to –10 °C, a warm engine can be started in CNG mode, and drivers can also use the Stop/Start feature without any issues. There is a persistent myth that very low temperatures below freezing could cause problems for natural gas. But for CNG to liquefy inside its tank, the temperature would have to drop below –160 °C according to the laws of physics.
Mar 26, 2020 at 17:09