Fiat Group Automobiles (FGA) is taking part in the “NGV Europe International Show and Workshops” running in Brussels (Belgium) from 7 to 10 July. Now in its fifth edition, the event is organised by NGVA Europe (Natural and bio Gas Vehicles Association), whose members include the leading European companies, one of which is FGA. Its mission is to develop a sustainable and advantageous market for this type of vehicle throughout Europe.
Fiat Group Automobiles has also chosen to be a ‘Gold’ sponsor of the event, reasserting its commitment to sustainable mobility, contributing to disseminating the culture of methane and introducing the most eco-friendly solutions on today’s market to the general public. A concrete example? The three models on show for test drives: Fiat Punto 1.4 Fire Natural Power (70 HP and 115 g/km CO2), Doblò 1.4 T-Jet Natural Power (120 HP and 134 g/km CO2) and Panda 0.9 TwinAir Turbo Methane (80 HP and 86 g/km of CO2). Named “Best Green Engine of the Year 2013″ and also available on the Fiat 500L and 500L Living and Lancia Ypsilon models, this last engine combines the technologies of MultiAir, turbocharger and ‘downsizing’ with specific methane fuel technologies.
Compared to the petrol version, the revolutionary bi-fuel two-cylinder includes specific fuel system components, including the intake manifold, injectors, electronic engine management system and valve seats with specific geometry made of low-wear material. The perfect integration of all components and state-of-the-art technology – such as the MultiAir system and the turbocharger – guarantee maximum reliability and ensure that performance and handling remain the same also when running on methane.
Within the packed schedule of workshops, round tables and conferences, standing out are contributions from Massimo Ferrera, (EMEA Powertrain Engineering, Research & Technology – Alternative Fuels) and Maurizio Consalvo (EMEA Product Planning, Head of 2020 project). The latter will take part in the “Successful Policies” workshop on 8 July, on the basis of Fiat’s long-term experience in the Italian and European original equipment methane-fuelled vehicle market, highlighting the importance of an integrated approach, which involves industry and Institution, to ensure the development of this technology, a key to sustainable mobility.
He’ll hand the baton to Massimo Ferrera, who at the “Vehicles & Engines Technologies” workshop on 9 July will focus on the technological developments from Fiat that have brought it to its current position of leadership in this sector and on the future developments – biomethane, for example – through which methane will bring environmental benefits analogous to those of technology based on electricity from renewable sources.
In the field of alternative fuels, Fiat considers that methane engines are now the most appropriate technological choice for contributing to the reduction of pollution in urban areas and the limitation of CO2 emissions. Methane engines minimise the most harmful emissions, such as particulate (to almost zero), nitrogen oxide and the most reactive hydrocarbons which cause the formation of other pollutants. They also generate 23 per cent less CO2 compared to petrol engines. Therefore, methane is the ‘cleanest’ and cheapest fuel available today and it is also potentially a source of renewable energy in the case of biomethane.
For over 15 years, the Fiat Group has been the leading European original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for methane-fuelled vehicles, with a wide eco-friendly range with bi-fuel supply (methane/petrol), which accommodates the needs of a broad clientèle, including goods transport professionals: since 1997, the Group has sold approximately 600 thousand Natural Power cars and commercial vehicles.