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SEAT to develop natural gas as vehicle fuel

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European automotive manufacturer SEAT could soon be using compressed natural gas (CNG) and renewable gas (biomethane) to power its cars across Europe thanks to a partnership signed with Snam this week. 
SEAT President Luca De Meo and Snam CEO Marco Alvera at the signing of the partnership.
(SEAT President Luca de Meo and Snam CEO Marco Alvera at the signing of the partnership. Image via SEAT).

Snam is a European leader in gas infrastructure and is developing new refuelling stations and has partnered with SEAT to further implement CNG and bio-CNG infrastructure and research and development projects across key European markets including Italy, France and Austria.

In addition, SEAT and Snam will collaborate in developing mobility services and creating new products, with the goal of offering added value to users of CNG and bio-CNG powered vehicles. If successful, the strategic agreement could be extended to other Volkswagen Group brands.

Commenting on the agreement, SEAT President Luca de Meo, said that:

“The agreement with Snam enables us to take steps to democratising CNG. Italy is the leading market in the use of this energy and represents 55% of the sale of vehicles powered with this fuel in Europe this year. For SEAT, one out of every five vehicles sold in Italy uses CNG. With this agreement we aim to further enhance the development of compressed natural gas in Italy and export this success case to other countries”.

CNG is increasingly being used to power vehicles across Europe, with Italy being the stand-out market for the energy source. At present, Italy has a fleet of approximately 1 million CNG powered vehicles and a network of 1,300 refuelling stations. SEAT clearly sees CNG becoming a favourite amongst Europe’s drivers, and currently offers compressed natural gas technology with the Mii, the Ibiza, the Leon and the Arona.
SEAT and Snam will collaborate on the development of CNG and Biomethane for a wide range of vehicles
(SEAT and Snam will collaborate on the development of CNG and Biomethane for a wide range of vehicles. Image via SEAT).

Snam has recently inaugurated its first L-CNG filling station in Pesaro, and has about 50 natural gas and biomethane refuelling plants currently in implementation along with a multi-year development plan of approximately 300 new distributors.

“This partnership will strengthen the development of natural gas and biomethane-powered sustainable mobility, both in Italy and across Europe, combining Snam’s innovative infrastructure development, and SEAT’s expertise in rolling out new sustainable models. We believe that natural gas is the most immediate solution to improving air quality in our cities, in addition to have environmental sustainability, performance and economic advantages. The rapid spread of renewable gas has highlighted this. Sustainable mobility is one of the key areas of focus for our 200-million-euro investment plan in energy transition business,” said Snam CEO Marco Alvera at the partnership signing.

Driving with CNG emits 75% less nitrogen oxide compared to a diesel vehicle and 25% less CO2 than one that runs on petrol, and it does away with practically all particulate matter. Mobility with vehicular natural gas is considered environmentally friendly by the European Union, so the benefit of this kind of fuel includes the possibility of accessing European cities when there are traffic restrictions due to pollution. Natural gas also provides many other benefits to drivers including savings of over 30% per kilometre compared to diesel and over 55% compared to petrol.

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SEAT to develop natural gas as vehicle fuel - Time to read 3 min
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