Wind in your hair, methane in your gas tank. After the biogas-powered train, paint-shop and prison, here comes the biogas roadster! The PGO Cévennes Turbo-CNG roadster will be introduced at the International Auto Salon in Geneva (March 6 to 16). From what we can see so far, it looks quite stylish, mixing old-school with modern. Lets look under the hood to see what makes it green(er)...Powering the car is a 4-cylinder, 1.6-liter turbocharged engine generating 150 hp at 5,600 rpm, with maximum torque of 155 lb-ft at 2,300 rpm. Top speed is 210 kph (130 mph), and 0 to 100 km/h takes 6.5 seconds. Fuel economy is 4.6 kg/100 km (approx. 6.7 liters gasoline equivalent/100 km, or 35 miles per US gallon, 42 miles per imperial gallon), giving a range of 450 kilometers (280 miles). The good part is that if you run it on biogas instead of fossil natural gas, it can be 100% carbon neutral. But whatever you run it on, smog-forming particulate matter emissions will be extremely low.
Germany currently has approximately 770 natural gas filling stations. Italy—the European leader in natural gas vehicles with more than 430,000 vehicles on the road—has more than 600 filling stations with natural gas or biogas, Switzerland has almost 100 and Austria 90.
We can also expect home-filling stations for those who have natural gas at home if such cars become popular. The biggest challenge is finding a sufficient supply of carbon-neutral biogas. Some of it is already being injected into the regular natural gas supply, but more could be done to capture emissions from landfills and such.
Natural gas might not be as bad as gasoline, but it's still a fossil fuel that will eventually need to be phased out.
Schweinfurt, Germany-based BRA GmbH is accepting advance orders for the PGO Cévennes Turbo-CNG for Germany. Depending on the response, BRA and PGO will decide on when the eco-friendly roadster will be produced in series. The declared objective of the project partners is to offer the sports car for a price of around €48,000 (US$70,000).
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