European Mobility Week - Getting around with natural gas

European Mobility Week - Getting around with natural gas

20.09.2017: Juan Galera, a young accountant with two children, decided a year ago to switch to a car fuelled with compressed natural gas. He commutes

Juan Galera, a young accountant with two children, decided a year ago to switch to a car fuelled with compressed natural gas. He commutes daily an average of 50 km to drop his children off at school and drive to work, so getting around in a CNG powered car has its advantages.



On the occasion of European Mobility Week, we went with Juan on one of his daily commutes to get his opinion about this alternative fuel.



-Why did you switch to a car fuelled with natural gas?


I have three good reasons: I’m driving an ecological car, I can drive in city centres when there are air pollution restrictions and I save €20 a week on fuel. In my case, my daily commutes from home to my children’s school, work meetings and weekend getaways all amount to a 30% savings per kilometre compared with the diesel car I had a year ago.




-Are there any other advantages?

I received a rebate when I bought it. As these vehicles are classified as ‘ECO’ by the Spanish Directorate General of Traffic, you get considerable discounts when you buy these cars. I saved up to €3,000. You even get discounts on toll roads and parking garages.




-What was your initial reaction when you got behind the wheel of your CNG?


It may seem hard to believe, but I didn’t notice any difference while driving. In fact, the engine runs on gas until the tank is depleted and automatically switches to petrol. Besides a green light that comes on, the change is seamless and you don’t feel a thing. With both tanks full you can drive up to 1,300 km without stopping to refuel.




-When the time comes to refuel, how do you go about it?


There’s a gas filling station 10 minutes away from my work, so that’s very convenient for me. But even if it were located further away it would still be worthwhile. I usually fill up the tank with €13 every time I go, which is about 15 kg of gas, and I don’t have to return until five or six days later. I plan ahead when I’m going to make a longer trip, as in Spain there are 50 gas filling stations.
 



-CNG can be very beneficial for restriction-free driving…


For me it’s a strong point, because I live in a small town in the province of Barcelona but I often drive to the city. It’s an advantage not being affected by traffic restrictions during high air pollution levels and driving into the city and parking without problems.




-After a year of driving on natural gas, how do you rate the experience?


I get great mileage savings, the numbers speak for themselves. I’ve driven this SEAT Leon TGI every day for a year and I’ve saved €1,000 compared to the diesel car I had before. I’d say it’s a very recommendable switch!



Gemma Solà- photos Seat

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/european-mobility-week-seat-natural-gas---168276.html

20.09.2017 / MaP

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