Gas as a transport fuel
Natural gas, used in vehicles as compressed natural gas or CNG, counts among the alternative fuels. It causes less GHG emissions than petrol or diesel and is less of a burden on the environment.
CNG is transported in vehicles at a pressure of about 200 bar and combusted in gasoline motors. Of the fossil fuels, CNG is the most environmentally friendly one.
Several manufacturers are already producing CNG vehicles and there are sufficient filling stations where you can get CNG.
The safety standards for filling CNG vehicles are very high. As soon as the nozzle has properly snapped into the vehicle tank, gas flows. It is just as easy as with petrol or diesel.
While petrol and diesel are measured in litres, the unit of measurement for CNG is kilogrammes. One kilo of CNG is about 1.5 litres of petrol’s worth, or 1.3 litres of diesel.
Petrol price database now includes CNG
E-Control’s petrol price database has been extended to cover CNG also. This enables you to find the cheapest filling stations not only for petrol and diesel but also for CNG.
- CNG is low in emissions.
- Smoke and grime are minimised.
- Motors make less noise than when they run on diesel or petrol.
- CNG can be highly compressed, which increases power.
- Taxes on CNG are lower than those on petrol and diesel.
Please do not mix up CNG and LPG. This is liquid petroleum gas, a waste product from the refinery process that was long flamed. During the seventies, governments in Europe granted tax rebates for this fuel and manufacturers began producing LPG vehicles.
CNG-powered vehicles have special tanks that are subject to very strict safety regulations and tested under extreme conditions. They store gas at a pressure of about 200 bar, reducing its volume 200-fold. A number of additional features, such as valves that prevent pressure building in the event of a fire, and regular checks also contribute to vehicle safety.
CNG has an octane number (ROZ) of 125, while petrol has 91 or 95. Combustion in CNG engines is thus much better than in conventional vehicles. This also reduces maintenance needs and increases a vehicle’s lifetime.
More expensive cars
The production of CNG vehicles cannot yet benefit from the same scaling as conventional cars. CNG cars are therefore more expensive than diesel vehicles would be. In some regions, subsidies are available to compensate buyers for this difference. Also, the calculation method for taxes on cars favours CNG vehicles. This incentive was further expanded on 1 July 2008 with a bonus for alternative motors of € 500.
Producers and models available in Austria
Car manufacturers that have serialised CNG vehicle production in Austria include Fiat, Fort, Iveco, Mercedes-Benz, Opel, Peugot and Volkswagen. For more information about CNG mobility in Austria, please consult our German pages, where we have provided a list of links that might be of interest.