Today marks the first anniversary of the trial on the Panda powered only by biomethane produced at CAP Group’s wastewater treatment plant in Bresso-Niguarda (Milan). On 14 March 2017 Elisa Boscherini (Head of FCA Institutional Relations for the EMEA area) handed the car over to Alessandro Russo, Chairman of the CAP Group, in Turin. This marked the start of the #BioMetaNow project, involving FCA and the CAP Group together with the LifeGate network, which promotes sustainable development in Italy.
Since then, the Panda Natural Power has clocked up thousands of kilometers, always fueled with the CAP Group’s biomethane, and has been regularly monitored by in-depth tests performed at the CRF (FCA Research Centre) to certify that the biomethane produced from sewage has no contraindications or adverse effects on the engine, just like that produced from agricultural and solid urban waste.
The Panda is currently undergoing a pit-stop at the CRF facility at Orbassano. It is receiving two thorough inspections to confirm that, for the engine, biomethane is exactly equivalent to natural gas of fossil origin. The first test is exhaust emissions measurement on the roller bed to assess the catalytic converter’s efficiency, and the second is an engine performance test.
Coinciding with this anniversary, the Italian Ministries of Economic Development, the Environment, and Agriculture and Forestry have just approved the interministerial decree for the promotion of the use of biomethane and other advanced biofuels in the transport sector. This measure has been eagerly awaited by both the agricultural and the waste management sectors. With this decree, Italy – already leading the way in Europe – sets itself the aim of covering 10% of transport energy needs from renewable sources by 2020, with an additional target for advanced biomethane and other advanced biofuels of 0.9% in 2020 and 1.5% from 2022.
In the many kilometers it has travelled to participate at shows and events, the Fiat Panda has shown that by using biomethane it is possible to slash emissions by 97% compared to the petrol model. For more information, please visit this link.