Alternative fuels are one of the biggest hot topics of the moment. Rising gasoline and diesel prices are frustrating consumers and putting the spotlight on powertrains that are above all: cheap.
Z. B. Natural gas cars, which are not only much cheaper to run, but also have a lower fuel consumption
- Environmentally friendly,
- Tax benefits and
- Available as standard from numerous manufacturers.
Some good arguments to turn your back on conventional fuels.
We take a closer look at natural gas cars and compare them with conventional vehicles.
Natural gas increasingly popular as a fuel
Alternative energies are finally socially acceptable, even as a car fuel. And even though autogas-powered vehicles still lead the field in germany, natural gas is becoming increasingly popular as a refueling option.
Natural gas, also known as CNG (compressed natural gas) or LNG (liquefied natural gas), has become much more common in many countries than in Germany. A VW team therefore dared to experiment with a round-the-world trip in a natural gas car and was able to prove that natural gas vehicles are now suitable for everyday use:
There is one main reason why natural gas cars are also becoming increasingly popular in germany:
Natural gas is considered the cheapest fuel!
Although the price looks more expensive than autogas, it is not. LPG is charged in liters, while natural gas is charged by the kilogram. However, the range of a kilo of natural gas is much greater than that of a liter of autogas.
According to the study "the car market up to 2040: what will power the car of tomorrow", the price of natural gas will continue to rise only slowly over the next few decades and will remain permanently below the cost of gasoline or diesel. For an insight into the study in its entirety, visit the website of the mineral oil industry association e.V. (can be found in our related links).
In germany, you currently pay around €1.10 per kilogram of natural gas (as of february 2014). In economically uncertain times, probably the most important reason why more and more consumers are switching to a natural gas car. The german energy agency calculated that 1.1 million natural gas vehicles are expected to be on german roads by 2020:
Accordingly, the number of natural gas filling stations will also increase in the following years. Between 2001 and 2012, the number of filling stations had already more than quadrupled:
The opportunities for drivers with natural gas tanks are therefore increasingly improving. one more reason to choose the low-cost alternative to petrol or diesel. But natural gas vehicles can also score points in comparison with autogas-powered vehicles.
The differences between autogas and natural gas
You should know that natural gas and autogas are completely different fuels (learn more about autogas here). Therefore, you cannot fill up with autogas in a natural gas car and vice versa.
You should therefore think about which system is best for you before you convert or buy. Here is a clear comparison of the two fuels:
|fuel (100 km)||ca. 5 – 6 EUR||ca. 6,40 – 7 EUR|
|taxes||Mineral oil tax concessions until 2018||Mineral oil tax concessions until 2018|
|conversion||from approx. 2.500 EUR||from ca. 1.EUR 600|
|standard models||yes||hardly to be found in germany, import possible|
|gas stations||ca. 900||ca. 6.500|
If you drive a natural gas vehicle, however, it is possible to fill up with biogas, one of the most climate-friendly fuels. How biogas is produced is explained very clearly in the tv program "lowenzahn":
In germany, there are already more than 100 biogas filling stations, and the trend is upward.
How environmentally friendly are natural gas cars?
Natural gas is one of the most environmentally and climate-friendly fuel options. Only electric and hydrogen cars have a better balance sheet, but they have not yet established themselves in the same way.
With a natural gas car, you are therefore currently making the best possible contribution to environmental protection. A natural gas-powered vehicle produces up to
- 75% less carbon monoxide,
- 25% less carbon dioxide and
- 60% less hydrocarbons
As a gasoline engine. This is why all natural gas vehicles receive the green environmental badge.
Save taxes with a natural gas vehicle
To promote sales of natural gas vehicles, motorists can benefit from tax breaks for natural gas cars. energy taxes of 18.3 ct/kg will apply until 2018. By way of comparison, you pay 65.5 ct/l for a gasoline-powered vehicle. As a result, fuel costs for natural gas will remain low in the coming years.
In 2009, an emissions-based vehicle tax also came into force. Vehicles that are to be delivered as of 01.01.registered in 2014, drive tax-free up to CO2 emissions of 95 g/km. For each additional gram 2 EUR will be charged.
Natural gas car drivers have a clear advantage here. This is how the VW eco up produces! As a natural gas vehicle, it emits only 79 g/km and is also considered the most economical natural gas car in the world.
In many regions of germany, you can make additional savings when buying a natural gas car. Many energy providers are offering subsidies of up to 1 euro for the purchase of a new vehicle.000 EUR. Check with your energy supplier for local subsidy offers.
Are natural gas vehicles dangerous?
There is a noticeable lack of safety with regard to new fuels. Here’s how consumers keep asking about the safety of natural gas vehicles. Without reason – as facts prove.
Z.B. Is the risk of ignition in the event of a tank leak much lower than with a gasoline or diesel vehicle, as the
- Ignition temperature of natural gas with 650°C relatively high
Located at. By comparison:
- Gasoline ignites at 220 – 460°C,
- diesel already between 200 and 350.
Therefore, no increased risks are to be expected in the event of an accident.
Even the high pressure of the tank, which is 200 bar, is not a safety risk with natural gas vehicles, as conventional natural gas tanks can withstand a pressure of up to 600 bar.
There are therefore no dangers in operating a natural gas vehicle.
Note: many drivers are unsure whether they are allowed to park their natural gas car in underground garages. This is not a problem! You can park your vehicle in public underground garages without any restrictions.
New purchase or conversion – what’s worthwhile?
Numerous car manufacturers offer their latest models also as natural gas variants. But also a conversion of your car is possible. You should therefore decide individually which option is more economical for you.
In principle, it is worth buying a standard natural gas car, which has. However, if you are not planning to buy a new or used car, a conversion is definitely worthwhile. However, it is a little more complicated and may take up more space in the trunk.
Numerous new cars with natural gas
Today, almost all major car manufacturers produce natural gas vehicles as standard, which are no different from gasoline or diesel models.
Big brands like
- Volvo and
Pray them partly several vehicles with natural gas operation.
The most popular cars include
- The opel zafira CNG ecoflex turbo,
- The VW passat 1.4 TSI ecofuel
- The ford focus C-max
- The fiat panda natural power and
- The mercedes B-class B 170 NGT blueefficiency.
However, the purchase price of a natural gas car is somewhat higher than that of a gasoline-powered car. You pay about between 1.500 and 3.500 EUR more for a new car. However, the resale value is correspondingly high.
Conversion to natural gas pays off?
Of course, it is also possible to convert a car to natural gas, but this conversion work is only worthwhile if you drive the car for a few years. The conversion, which will cost you between 2.500 and 5.The cost of EUR 000 will pay for itself with an average annual distance of 25 km.000 km after about 3 years.
In addition, you will have to pay for the TuV inspection of the installed gas system. You can therefore assume that you should keep your vehicle for at least another 4 years so that the conversion pays off.
But can any vehicle be converted to natural gas?? No! The conversion is only possible for vehicles with gasoline engine. And here, too, there are small restrictions that make the conversion not possible or not worthwhile for individual vehicle types. Ask a specialist dealer for comprehensive advice on whether converting to natural gas is worthwhile for your vehicle.
If your vehicle can be converted, it is advisable to upgrade to two fuel systems:
- gasoline and
- Natural gas.
Especially in areas with poor coverage of natural gas filling stations, you have a safe alternative if the natural gas tank is empty.
Note: after a conversion, please remember that the installed natural gas tank must be noted in the vehicle registration document, otherwise you will lose your operating license!
Filling up with natural gas is worthwhile!
If you want to save money and value an environmentally friendly vehicle, a natural gas car is the right choice for you. Because prices will remain low and the number of natural gas vehicles and filling stations will increase.
So if you’re looking for an alternative to gasoline or diesel, get advice from a natural gas systems specialist. Because natural gas is one of the fuels of the future, which will also bring you many advantages! We wish you a safe journey in advance!