The MicroJoule vehicle, backed by GRTgaz and designed by the students of the La Joliverie College (Saint-Sébastien-sur-Loire, Nantes), has set a new world record for energy savings using compressed natural gas (CNG). A distance of 2,606 km on the equivalent of 1 litre of gasoline was achieved during the 31st edition of the Shell Eco-marathon held in London last weekend. This surpasses the team’s 2015 record of 2551.8 km.
This achievement confirms the performance of gas as a fuel and its capacity to reconcile energy efficiency with lower greenhouse gas emissions. According to GRTgaz, the 2016 result established the MicroJoule “as the big winner of the competition, all categories taken together, for internal combustion engines”.
Partner of the vehicle since 2015, GRTgaz congratulates the students of La Joliverie for their excellent performance, the fruit of their unfailing commitment to achieving technical excellence, their drive and their team cohesion. For Philippe Maindru, head of the MicroJoule project at the school, “the partnership with GRTgaz helps us continue our research and demonstrate the technological and environmental advantages of CNG, which is asserting itself as a concrete, affordable and high-performance alternative in the world of transport”.
The founders of the MicroJoule vehicle and GRTgaz share the conviction that gas is an effective solution to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector, with tried and tested technical reliability similar to that of vehicles using traditional oil-based fuels. Compared to diesel, CNG emits 25% less CO2 but also much less nitrogen oxide and virtually no particles. With the expected development of renewable gas (biogas), the carbon footprint of CNG will become negligible. In 2015, 76,000 tonnes of CO2 were avoided in France by 14,000 vehicles being powered by gas rather than diesel.
The Shell Eco-marathon is a unique competition that challenges students to design, construct and drive vehicles capable of covering the longest distance possible with as little fuel as possible. The 31st editing of the Shell Eco-marathon attracted 200 teams, 3,000 students from thirty or so countries on all continents and 30,000 visitors near Queen Elisabeth Park in London.