Natural gas has a lot going for it as a future-proof alternative fuel. CNG is a mature technology that is already available. And the environmental benefits speak for themselves – 25% less CO2 and up to 95% less nitrogen oxide emissions.
In Italy, the standard bearer for gas-powered vehicles in Europe, over a million cars are currently fuelled by natural gas. By comparison, in Austria the figure is approximately 7,100. Increasingly, car manufacturers are offering gas-powered models, and more and more producers are jumping on the bandwagon. Mostly these are bi-fuel or bivalent models, combining gas-fuelled technology with a supplementary petrol tank.
Filling up with natural gas is just as quick and easy as with conventional fuels. There are several thousand natural gas filling stations in Europe, with 170 in Austria – which has the continent’s densest network relative to the size of the country. Ambitious expansion plans will create even more options to fill up in the coming years.
Safe, clean, economical
Crash tests show that gas-powered cars are just as safe as other vehicles. Natural gas is not more explosive than petrol, as is sometimes feared. And it’s clean: burning gas produces almost no soot particles. CO2 emissions are also significantly lower than for other fossil fuels. CNG vehicles provide dual savings: they consume less fuel, and the fuel itself is cheaper. Drivers who switch to natural gas save about 30% on fuel costs compared with a diesel car, or about 50% compared with a car that runs on petrol.
For further details, visit www.erdgasautos.at (German only).