A presentation of the first Russian Yo-Mobile ‘hybrid’ bi-fuel vehicles, Yo-Concept and sporty Yo-Crossover, has taken place at Gazprom’s headquarters in Moscow. Alexey Miller, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Management Committee (CEO) of Russian energy giant OAO Gazprom, and Andrey Biryukov, President of the Yarovit Holding and CEO of the Yo-Auto project, presided. Miller declared, “Yo-Mobil is of our interest as an NGV market driver.”
The Yo-Mobile features were revealed as well as the innovative engineering solutions used in the car design. The main Yo-Mobile feature is the hybrid drivetrain – a generator and an internal-combustion engine that can burn both gasoline and compressed natural gas (CNG).
“I really liked the car, it’s very unusual and breaks the mould. The most important is that the technology has been developed in Russia and Gazprom is ready to support the Yo-Mobile project. For us it is interesting as an NGV fuel market driver, gas will also be used when producing composite materials for this car,” said Miller, who also acknowledged the environmental benefits of natural gas powered engines.
Miller flagged Gazprom’s intentions to drive the NGV market in June this year, at the European Business Congress conference on “Environmental Challenges and the energy sector” in Prague. “… we plan to promote the development of the European market of [natural] gas fuel, increase efficiency and popularity of projects related to the creation of a European network of fueling stations,” he said at the time.
Gazprom will also become the general sponsor of the Yo sports team. “Being the future general sponsor and supporting this team, we are expecting the new records which yet again show the advantage of gas use as a motor fuel,” said Alexey Miller to the media. Biryukov added that the Yo-Crossover would become a participant in the grueling Dakar Rally.
The Yo-Mobile, also known as the ‘E-Mobile’ or ‘E-car’, will be available in December 2012, says the president of Onexim group, Mikhail Prokhorov. E-Car is 51% owned by Yarovit Holding, which has been producing trucks, and 49% by Onexim. The Yo-Car website says the E-mobile will have “an electric drivetrain with a combined power of the generator, the rotating gas and gasoline internal combustion engine, and the capacitive energy storage.”
The Russian fleet of natural gas vehicles amounts to some 86 thousand units. At present, there are 249 CNG filling stations (207 of them are owned by Gazprom) in 58 regions of the Russian Federation. A new CNG filling station is being currently built in the Kaliningrad Oblast.
One of the measures stimulating natural gas use as a motor fuel in Russia is the Government Directive on Urgent Measures Expanding Substitution of Motor Fuels with Natural Gas dated January 15, 1993. The Directive sets the maximum CNG price at the level of 50 per cent of the A-76 gasoline price.
In October 2011 the State Duma of the Russian Federation examined the draft Federal Law on NGV Fuel. The adoption of the document will help develop the Russian NGV fuel market.
(This article primarily compiled using information from an OAO Gazprom press release)