Barcelona, 04/07/2017. - SEAT President Luca de Meo and GAS NATURAL FENOSA President Isidro Fainé have signed today a strategic agreement between both companies to promote joint innovation projects and expand the use of natural gas in the scope of mobility in Spain.
This long-term partnership will enable the utility company and the carmaker to spearhead the growth and positioning of vehicular natural gas (VNG) as an efficient, alternative transport fuel. Both companies have been collaborating in this field since 2013.
Through this collaboration, SEAT and GAS NATURAL FENOSA will promote different courses of action for the introduction and commercialisation of gas powered vehicles in three specific target groups.
One on hand, through the official SEAT dealerships, where developing infrastructure featuring gas service stations will be analysed, as well as training programmes for the employees. Secondly, both companies will create a joint commercial offer for self-employed Spanish workers, whereby they will benefit from economic advantages in cars and fuel. And finally, they will work on a domestic natural gas refuelling programme aimed at private individuals to be promoted with the administration in order to comply with the regulatory aspects relating to this activity.
Additionally, both companies will launch economic measures for research into new, efficient fuels, such as biogas. The strategic agreement includes a wider implementation of gas powered vehicles and promoting compressed natural gas (CNG) in the area of public services.
SEAT President Luca de Meo underscored that “with this partnership we confirm our commitment to developing compressed natural gas as an alternative fuel. CNG powered vehicles actively contribute to efficient mobility in cities, to the reduction of emissions and to fulfilling new environmental standards. The role of the administrations is also fundamental for investing in infrastructure that accelerates the number of refuelling stations and makes natural gas a more accessible technology”.
“This agreement will allow us to continue to promote sustainable mobility, both in the private and the public domain. Vehicular natural gas helps improve competitivity and encourages economic development, thanks to its competitive price and key role in the improvement of air quality in cities”, pointed out GAS NATURAL FENOSA President Isidro Fainé.
SEAT currently features compressed natural gas and petrol hybrid technology on the Leon, in its 5-door and station wagon versions, and on the Mii, which will be joined by the CNG version of the SEAT Ibiza in the last quarter of this year, and of the new Arona crossover in 2018.
A long-standing strategic partnership
SEAT and GAS NATURAL FENOSA signed their first collaboration agreement in 2013. Since then, 237 compressed natural gas (CNG) fuelled vehicles have been added to the utility group’s vehicle fleet in Spain. The company’s current CNG powered fleet in Spain is made up of close to 300 vehicles.
The collaboration agreement signed today will enable both companies to continue working on expanding natural gas in the scope of transport and encourage its use as an alternative fuel, both for private vehicles as well as heavy transport.
Vehicular Natural Gas in Spain
In Spain there are currently 50 public stations that supply natural gas, 27 of which belong to GAS NATURAL FENOSA. According to Gasnam figures (the Iberian Association of Natural Gas for Mobility), the number of registrations of natural gas powered vehicles increased by 133% in 2016 in Spain, bringing the total at the end of 2016 to over 6,100. Of these, nearly 1,700 were light vehicles and over 4,200 were heavy transport vehicles such as buses and trucks.
Spain is currently the European country with the most service stations supplying liquefied natural gas (LNG) for vehicles, and has the second highest number of LNG powered transport vehicles in Europe.
The benefits of this alternative fuel
Natural gas as energy to fuel vehicles offers environmental and economic benefits, and is an alternative to traditional fuels.
This fuel reduces emissions to the atmosphere and contributes to improving the air quality of cities. In this sense, it emits more than 85% fewer nitrogen oxide emissions and helps decrease CO2 emissions by 24%, the main greenhouse effect gas, as well as nearly all airborne particulate matter. Therefore, this energy contributes in the struggle against climate change.
Furthermore, natural gas powered vehicles reduce noise pollution in cities, as they emit 50% fewer noise emissions and vibrations compared with diesel engines.
Beyond the environmental benefits, from an economic point of view, natural gas is a very competitive fuel, as it enables a cost savings per kilometre of 30% compared to diesel fuel and 50% compared to a petrol powered vehicle.