The world’s longest NGV rally ‘Gas into Engines’, crossing China, Qazaqstan (formerly Kazakhstan) and Russia, concluded October 7 in Moscow. 18 OEM LNG and CNG powered vehicles participated in the event which commenced September 4 in Rudong, China. Also concluding it’s journey was a VW Passat CNG which completed a return crossing of the entire Eurasian landmass.
Rally vehicles included Kamaz and Ural trucks from Russia and Qazaqstan and a Foton F1300 truck from China; buses from Russia (Lotos), China (Ankai, Hanchjun, and Yutun); and cars manufactured in Germany (VW) and Russia (UAZ and Lada Vesta).
Moscow was also the final destination for a VW Passat Ecofuel (CNG), owned by the German company UNIPER S.E. Its crew (Evgeny Pronin, Andre Schuman, and Vladimir Tatarkin) left Moscow August 13 for their historic natural gas-powered journey.
Gazprom (Russia), KazMunayGaz (Qazaqstan), CNPC (China) and Uniper S.E. (Germany) organised the rally which included HDVs fueled by LNG, CNG, LNG or CNG, and dual-duel (LNG + Diesel)) and LDVs using CNG or bi-fuel (CNG or gasoline). Natural gas was used for the entire journey except for about 1,000 kms where where no infrastructure is yet in place.
Early fueling took place using NGV1 and NGV2 connectors at Chinese CNG stations. Dedicated LNGVs and CNGVs were also fueled with Russian and Chinese road tankers. Across all countries natural gas is 2 to 3 times cheaper than diesel and gasoline. This resulted into overall 2.6 – 2.9 less fuel expenses compared to traditional oil fuels.
There were eight professional/public/media events along the route which concluded at the Saint-Petersburg International Gas Forum, where Alexey Miller, chairman of Gazprom, welcomed the crews.
The Volkswagen crew is the first in the world to cross the entire Eurasian continent along the ‘Lisbon – Shanghai’ Blue Corridor twice (from west to east and back), using a non-modified CNG car bought in Germany 8 years ago which covered a distance of 21,281 kilometers.