Spanish auto-manufacturer SEAT has added yet another accolade to its trophy cabinet. The Spanish Gas Association (Sedigas) has recognised SEAT for its commitment to natural gas as an alternative fuel with a “Energy and Sustainability” award.
SEAT President Luca de Meo accepted the award at a ceremony held yesterday at the Reina Sofía National Museum of Art in Madrid, which was also attended by José Domínguez Abascal, Secretary of State for Energy from the Ministry of Ecological Transition.
Sedigas acknowledged the company’s firm commitment to natural gas as an alternative fuel for sustainable mobility. At present, SEAT is the European carmaker with the broadest range of vehicles fuelled with compressed natural gas (CNG), with three models produced in the brand’s Martorell factory: the Leon, Ibiza and the Arona, the only CNG powered SUV in the world. In 2018 the company tripled its sales of CNG vehicles and announced an investment of EUR 6 million to enlarge the Martorell factory capacity in order to increase the number of gas driven vehicles it produces daily from 90 to 250.
Upon receiving the award from Sedigas President Rosa María Sanz, Luca de Meo stated that “at SEAT we are convinced that natural gas is a key element in the transition toward sustainable mobility. Now is the time to take a step further and boost the creation of infrastructure and make gas a source of renewable energy that can be injected in the network and promote its consumption. Furthermore, biogas and biomethane production represent an opportunity for reducing the rate of emissions derived from transportation.”
In this sense, de Meo also underlined that “the goal we must set ourselves is that biomethane be considered a source of renewable fuel, and this is where certificates of origin play a fundamental role. Inexpensive cars that run on clean energy and can be refuelled quicly in a few minutes already exist – they run on gas and biogas.”
Biogas “created in Barcelona”
With the aim of promoting the circular economy, energy efficiency and emissions reduction, SEAT now has projects underway such as “Life Methamorphosis”. Through this initiative, the company obtains renewable gas for its vehicles from solid urban waste from the city of Barcelona and animal organic waste from a farm in Lleida. In addition, SEAT is also collaborating with Aqualia to turn waste water into biomethane.
In this sense, there is great potential in establishing the certificate of origin for the production of biogas. This system would ease the development of the industry in Spain, just as in other European Union countries, and being able to transfer these certificates among sectors would open up many possibilities for the transport industry to guarantee a zero impact in terms of “well to wheel” CO2 emissions; that is, throughout the entire life cycle of a vehicle.
Natural gas fuelled mobility is considered environmentally efficient by the European Union, so this kind of fuel offers the advantage of drivers being able to access European cities when there are traffic restrictions in place due to pollution.