The Workshop was facilitated by Michele Ziosi, Director of NGV System Italia - Italian Natural Gas Vehicles Association, which carried out a very interesting program.
"The production of the first CNG pickup from Chrysler will be started next July in the USA, based on the technology developed by Fiat in Italy”, said Massimo Ferrera, Alternative Fuel Engines Director of Powertrain Research and Technology from Fiat. He added that “It’s a RAM2005 vehicle, with 6 or 8 cylinders and a driving range of 300 miles”. The executive also explained that in the meanwhile, Fiat is preparing other novelties in the CNG propulsion sector to be launched within the next months such as a new NG Panda wich will enter into production, with a TwinAir motor. “We have estimated that with this model, a trip from Milan to Rome (about 570 km) will cost 27 euros, in comparison with 34 euros using LPG, 51 with diesel and 61 with gasoline”, Ferrera underlined..
Volvo and biomethane
The automaker foresees to increase the production of its new methane-diesel truck. “The production in series of the new Volvo FM MethaneDiesel truck began in the first months of this year and we aim to increase it”, said Lennart Pilskog, Public Affairs Director. He stated that by using CNG this new truck has achieved driving range of 200 km, 400 km with a diesel-CNG unit, versus 800 with the diesel-LNG model. Moreover, the last LNG version was able to reach a 1,000 km range. Pilskog also explained that the Volvo FM MethaneDiesel is already available in Sweden, Holland, Great Britain, among other countries. “In the next future, it will be necessary to create a European LNG refueling distribution network, with refueling stations at least every 500 km”, he underlined.
Opel: new models
Federico Galliano, Government Relations Manager of General Motors Powertrain Europe, announced that Opel will launch new CNG models within the next three years. Meanwhile, Opel launched the new Zafira Tourer CNG, with a weight reduction of 85 kg, an increase of 19% of tank volume and a driving range increase of 39% (it can reach 590 km.). Besides, it will be introduced in the market the new van Combo CNG, in two versions of 4 and 5 cylinders. Also, according to Opel the problem of natural gas distribution is important to be solved: “We are trying to support the increasing of natural gas network and there is a directive proposal that European Union should present in the second half of the year”, Galliano summed up.
Iveco LNG powered trucks
José Luis Pérez Souto, Engineering NGV Business Development Manager of Iveco Spain confirmed that the production of the new Iveco Stralis LNG Natural Power is starting. “The Stralis LNG has a Cursor 8 motor at liquefied natural gas of 330 CV power (that is according to the limits of next Euro 6) and it would be prepared for applications from 18 to 40 tons. In the last 18 years, Iveco produced 13,000 compressed natural gas vehicles, above all city buses and waste collection vehicles. Since 2005 it began the experimentation with LNG motors. “On long distance, the future is for liquefied natural gas”, Souto stated.