In Râmnicu Vâlcea, the capital city of Vâlcea County, Romania, the Antares Group has successfully completed the country’s first conversion of a motor vehicle to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). The success comes after a long training with specialist technicians, both in Italy and Romania. Antares Motors will now offer customers on the Romanian market the opportunity to convert their vehicles to CNG.
Antares has selected conversion technology from Cavagna Group Italy and Landi Renzo Group Italia — Bigas and Emmegas respectively — to deliver equipment of high quality and confidence to the Romanian market. For starters, all gasoline cars, even those that meet the most severe pollution standards, are targeted for conversion.
Antares points out the CNG technology delivers significant advantages:
- up to 2.5 times more economical than petrol;
- prolongs engine life;
- the vehicle is running quieter;
- pollution rules are met and drastically reduced fine particulate emissions.
Commercial conversions will begin in 2018 at RAMM Technical Center of Antares Motors, a car service under the Bosch Car Service franchise (BCS), and it is expected to expand rapidly to services in the BCS network in Bucharest and Timisoara.
The strategy of expanding the network of CNG conversion and repair workshops provides for the licensing of at least one center in each of the localities where compressed natural gas stations will be inaugurated, in Bucharest, Timisoara, Constanta, Piteşti, Arad, Deva, Sibiu, Craiova and Drobeta Turnu Severin.
The vehicle on which the test conversion was successfully carried out is a Suzuki Vitara, year of manufacture 2017, cylinder capacity 1.586 cm3, power 88 kW, Euro 6 pollution standard. Subsequent gas analysis has shown strict compliance with Euro 6 rules following conversion. The converters say that once the car starts, the car runs on gasoline until the engine reaches 40 degrees, then automatically switches to CNG. CNG consumption is approximately 4 kg per 100 km.
A second conversion test on a Dacia Logan, Euro 4, is also being prepared. Both vehicles with conversion systems will be presented simultaneously at the Romanian Automotive Register (RAR) for approval.
Depending on the number and capacity of the storage cylinders, the compressed natural gas (CNG) autonomy of converted cars varies between 200-500 km, which is added to the autonomy given by the existing (non-modified) gasoline tank.
The advantages of using CNG make this alternative fuel a serious option not only for individual users but also for taxi, courier, distribution, public transport and utility services in any location where gas compressed natural gas stations will be set up.
Antares Group is a pioneer on the Romanian alternative fuels market. One of its companies, Denisson Energy (member of NGVA Europe), holds the first public CNG station in Romania and is building the first network of public CNG stations in Romania with funding from TEN-T. Antares Motors operates the first ITP-approved station for CNG vehicles in Romania.
Compressed methane gas is not only the least polluting fossil fuel but also the cheapest in Romania: one kilogram costs USD 0.90.
Source: Antares Group
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