Natural gas: initiative to reduce vehicle conversion costs

  Fuels, NEWS & INTERVIEWS, Sustainable Mobility

The project is the outcome of collaboration between Assogasmetano and Ecomotive Solutions. It proposes kits for updating the most obsolete fleets and solutions for hybrids to replace traditional fuels

A new project seeks to revive and develop the use of natural gas in the transport sector by making vehicle upgrade kits available for vehicles belonging to obsolete emission classes and solutions for hybrid vehicles to replace traditional fuels. The initiative was launched by Assogasmetano, the Italian Association of CNG distribution companies, and Ecomotive Solutions, a company in the province of Alessandria active in the design and implementation of innovative systems for using alternative fuels.

The basis for this collaboration is the conviction that immediate, practical and effective solutions are needed for sustainability in the transport sector and the decarbonisation process. In particular, the use of hybrids can become even more economically beneficial by exploiting the synergy between electric drive and bio-methane, which can achieve a zero or even negative impact in terms of equivalent carbon dioxide emissions.

The project is also based on the idea that a new boost for natural gas must come from the various players in the supply chain, from fuel service stations to trade associations, dealerships and installation workshops.

“Collaboration with Ecomotive Solutions means we can fine-tune truly competitive commercial proposals to minimize transformation costs and be able, at the same time, to rely on a network of highly qualified installers to offer customers a complete service at standardized costs throughout the country,” explained Flavio Merigo, President of Assogasmetano, during his presentation of the initiative, in the hope that it will receive “appropriate incentives” already put forward “in appropriate places”.

“We have a duty to develop projects that can support the huge opportunities that methane and biomethane offer in helping to resolve the decarbonisation issue in the transport sector. Continuous development of the distribution network, which today already has 1,500 centres, must be backed up by a similar increase in fleets running on methane. The history of use of natural gas in Italy has already demonstrated the value of this fuel in solving issues related to mobility costs for people and goods alongside a simultaneous reduction in environmental impact,” Merigo added.

“New challenges now await us from technological (such as applications in hybrid vehicles) and environmental points of view in order to ensure the possibility of using bio-methane produced near fuel service points and thereby completely eliminate the carbon footprint. For this reason, we are fighting for vehicles running on bio-methane to be granted ZEV status (Zero Emission Vehicle),” commented the President of Assogasmetano.

Ecomotive Solutions joined this project enthusiastically: “In this delicate stage of technological transition, we believe that growth in the methane distribution network must be followed by a a network of valid professionals equipped with state-of-the-art products which are increasingly easier to manage, starting from their installation and calibration. Consequently, we enthusiastically welcomed the Assogasmetano proposal, in the hope that this format can be also extended  to other entities working to promote methane: on achieving critical mass, this natural gas will surely achieve obtain the right visibility in public opinion by involving the audience of increasingly demanding professionals,” said the company’s sole director, Giovanni Deregibus.

He stressed that the initiative is entirely in keeping with the Ecomotive line: “Following our corporate vision, we do not merely develop functional products: our technology is the bond for a virtuous supply chain involving everyone having a genuine interest in teamwork. Italy is a country with impressive traditions and know-how as regards methane – an exceptional resource that is effectively able to offer today (and not in an as yet undefined future) a solution for greater environmental protection and economic savings. This pragmatic approach means we provide a precious resource for a market where demand for upgrading older vehicles coexists with the more recent – yet increasingly significant – demand for more modern and sophisticated vehicles.”