The 8th ‘HiTech EKO Mobility Rally’, the final event of the 2014 FIA Alternative Energies Cup season, elected for a second consecutive year ‘Fisikon’ Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as the most economical fuel to run cars. The race, run on 4-5 October, involved 22 alternative fuel vehicles with Greek and foreign crews. Fisikon, a CNG retail network developed by DEPA, is present in Athens, Thessalonika and other major urban centers in Greece, where it aims to promote economic and clean motoring in Greece.
Starting and ending in Syntagma (Constitution) Square, the central square of Athens, this year’s entries again raised the use of alternative fuels before the general public and automotive experts. Fisikon participated in the race with two OEM bi-fuel cars, an Audi A3 1.4 G-TRON and a Volkswagen Golf Variant 1.4, highlighting natural gas drive not only as an environmentally friendly fuel with excellent performance but also the most economical of all, according to the economy classification, taking out first and second places.
Specifically, first place went to the AUDI A3 1,4 G-TRON, crewed Mr. N. Papapascho Nicholas (driver) and C. Tsimenoglou (co-driver) and second was the VW Golf Variant 1.4 crewed Mr. Thomas Papapascho (driver) and D. Stergioti (co-driver).
The consumption of the vehicle to cover the 548 kms of the race were:
- AUDI A3 1.4 G-TRON: 16.61 kg of natural gas (CNG) and 2.29 lt petrol, total cost € 19,56 (USD 24.82)
- VW Golf Variant 1.4: 18.9 kg of natural gas (CNG) and 3.64 lt petrol, total cost € 21,59 (USD 27.39)
The car that ranked third for economy, a gas-petrol MAZDA 6, had about twice the consumption for the same distance.
Last year, a Fisikon-fuelled VW Eco UP was successful as the most economical of 22 competing vehicles, covering a 582 km route consuming 13.9 kg of CNG and 0.75 lt petrol for a total cost of € 14.94 (USD 18.96). By comparison, the second-placed Toyota Prius III had a total fuel cost of € 36.3 (USD 46.06).
Organisers emphasize the rally is not a speed event. “The main field of competition, for which FIA Cup points are allocated, is the evaluation of the competitors’ capability to respect accurately the time schedule of the whole event as planned by the Organisers. This is expressed in the form of consecutive “ideal times” for the movement of the cars from one time control to the next and, additionally, in their capability to drive through all the “Regularity Stages” at a steady and exact obligatory speed, respecting all the terms imposed by the Organisers.”
CNG-fueled cars compete in Category VIII: Other Alternative Energy Vehicles. According to the Technical Regulations (Article 2.9 C), the calorific energy of the renewable fuel used during an event by a competing bi or multi-fuel vehicle must be at least 80% of the total calorific fuel energy used, otherwise the vehicle is excluded from the energy classification. E.g. 1 litre petrol (equal 8,897 Wh) plus 4 kg CNG (equals 52,176 Wh) gives a total calorific fuel energy of 61,037 Wh => 1litre petrol = 14.6 % and 4 kg CNG = 85.4 % = OK.
(Source: DEPA and FIA)