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Diffusione metanoDynamically on the move : It's hard to believe that the Volkswagen Group is focusing more on natural gas vehicles - Interview with Dr. Jens Andersen

There seems to be only one technology choice for transportation: electromobility (electric vehicles aka EV's). But for the experts, it is clear that there will be more in the future.

The Volkswagen Group’s second main pillar is natural gas propulsion. Corporate brands will expand their commitment. Attractive CNG vehicles are a factor here.

Dr. Jens Andersen, Head of Group Technology Strategy of Volkswagen AG
(Photo from

Dr. Jens Andersen, Group CEO for Natural Gas Mobility, explains in an interview with Volkswagen why Volkswagen sees a great future for this drive.

The Volkswagen Group has an electric mobility (EV) strategy called out. Why do the Group brands still offer natural gas cars?

Dr. Andersen: Volkswagen is aware of its responsibility to make its contribution to decarbonisation in the transport sector and air pollution in cities. This is also due to the massive expansion of electric mobility. In our view, however, it is not enough to put everything on the E-Mobility (EV) Card alone. We need a second, ecologically equivalent alternative in Germany for those people who are not eligible for an electric vehicle but who want to contribute to climate protection and air pollution without having to pay more. This alternative represents the CNG mobility - all the experts are in agreement.

Where do you see the strengths of natural gas vehicles versus gasoline and diesel on the one hand, and electric mobility (EV) on the other?

The strength of vehicles operating with natural gas, ie, methane, which is the simplest hydrocarbon with the most favorable ratio of carbon to hydrogen, namely, 1 to 4, is the future. The share of sustainably produced methane, ie biomethane or methane from power-to-gas plants, can be increased up to 100% without affecting the engine. Compare this with the ethanol admixtures for gasoline: For an increase in the ethanol mix - for example from E10 to E20 - technical measures on the engines would be necessary, the operation with pure ethanol, as in Brazil, requires even more far-reaching interventions. This also applies to biogenic admixtures in diesel engines. It is not backward compatible if the bio fuel percentage is increased. This is not the case with a natural gas engine. This can be operated with both pure fossil and pure biomethane, ie E-gas (BioCNG), and any mixing ratio there between. Just as the electric vehicle does not care from where do the electrons flow (either fossil or renewable bio).

What do you tell someone who tells them that he is still waiting for affordable electric cars with a lot of range instead of buying a natural gas vehicle?

I would congratulate him on his decision and then ask him about his motivation. If the motivation to buy an electric vehicle is an ecological one, I would point out that he can already do a lot for the environment by bridging the waiting time with a natural gas vehicle with 100% e- Gas (BioCNG) is operated. This would already make its contribution to decarbonisation and air pollution in cities, at lower operating costs than with its current vehicle, whether with petrol or diesel engines.

2015, the number of natural gas vehicles registered in Germany has declined for the first time. Is this the beginning of the end?

If we put everything on the map E-mobility in Germany and put our hands in the lap of natural gas mobility, then that would be the end of natural gas mobility. But it will not happen. The example Italy shows only too clearly that it can also go differently and very successfully. In Italy, the state, the automotive and gas industries have reached the breakthrough for natural gas as a fuel with a joint action plan, and Italy intends to triple the number of vehicles and double the number of petrol stations. As a Volkswagen Group, we intend to learn from it and make it better than before.

In your opinion, what aspect is considered too little in the public discussion regarding the natural gas drive for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles?

The environmental aspect is, in my view, completely inadequate, and not only for the transport sector, but basically: There is no hydrocarbon that burns as cleanly as methane, and the replacement of long-chain hydrocarbons or coal in the case of energy production can already be fossil methane Make a significant contribution to air pollution and climate protection. Furthermore, it is not known to the general public that a natural gas vehicle can already be operated almost CO2-neutrally by adding renewable methane, ie biomethane or E-gas (BioCNG aka RNG, etc).

The demand for automobiles is also generated by appropriate marketing and sales measures by the manufacturers - can the Volkswagen Group brands be expected to generate market impetus in the short and medium term?

Yes, we are working very intensively on new marketing and mobility concepts and will offer attractive products especially for fleet operators in German metropolitan regions, which go beyond what has been customary so far. I do not want to tell you more today.

Skoda Citigo, Volkswagen Caddy Maxi or the upcoming Audi A5 g-tron - which natural gas car is your personal favorite?

I see this as the father, who is asked about his favorite daughter: He loves all his daughters alike. This is also the case with our range of natural gas vehicles in the Group. Each of these vehicles stands for ecologically responsible mobility and has its very special characteristics and advantages.

- Disclaimer: This article was translated with Google Translate, a couple paragraphs at a time, from German to English. Our office German expert is out of the office for the week, so the translated article is not as smooth as it could have been. But I believe the translated copy still drives home the point. Anything in parenthesis was added for clarity.

(By Brad Couch - CNG Business Development Manager at Ariel)

Nota: (Source:
Inserito Monday 19 December 2016 da mdlbz (358 letture)
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