In parallel with the advancing electrification of its fleet, Volkswagen Group and its brands continue to rely on CNG (compressed natural gas) as an alternative drive technology for decarbonizing road transport; Volkswagen Group[ has revised and expanded its product range again with this in mind.
Volkswagen Group currently offers the widest selection of CNG vehicles of any manufacturer, by a substantial margin.
Volkswagen Group brands and their industry partners have been working in this field for some time; Audi has been operating the world’s first industrial power-to-gas plant in Werlte (Emsland) since 2013, with the Audi e-gas produced from wind power being fed into the natural gas grid. Green energy is made available to vehicle customers, while at the same time the storage of fluctuating eco-power and its research in practice enables the rapid expansion of wind and solar energy, which is also important to the success of e-mobility.
Volkswagen Group currently offers 17 models in various vehicle segments. Two more models will soon be added, in the form of the ŠKODA Scala, which will celebrate its world première as a CNG variant at the CNG Mobility Days in Berlin this week, and the ŠKODA Kamiq. The range encompasses everything from the small car segment through the compact class at Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT and ŠKODA, to Audi premium vehicles in the business segment and light commercial vehicles. With the ever-expanding CNG model range, sales figures in 2018 almost doubled compared to the previous year.
For the first time, the MAN and SCANIA brands will also be reporting on the latest developments for trucks and buses as part of the CNG Mobility Days. According to the new emissions standards in the European Union, by 2030 CO2 emissions must fall 30% from 2019 levels—a goal that is virtually unattainable using conventional drive types.
CNG, which already has 15% lower fuel consumption than diesel vehicles, is an immediately available and usable alternative for trucks and buses. At present, a particularly persuasive argument in favor of using CNG—especially for haulage companies—is the exemption from tolls for natural gas-powered trucks.
The action alliance of Volkswagen Group with industry partners gained further momentum recently, with the accession to the CNG industry group of natural gas filling station operator OrangeGas and Italian natural gas transmission system operator Snam S.p.A. (Società Nazionale Metanodotti). The objective of the CNG Mobility industry group is to proportionately expand the vehicle range, infrastructure and filling station network together.