Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), has rolled out its 300,000th natural gas powered Panda. The Panda Natural Power, able to operate on Compressed Natural gas (CNG), biomethane, or a mix of the two fuels, has been celebrated by staff and is destined to be used in many events, beginning with the forthcoming International Motor Show in Geneva.
The record-braking Panda is a white Lounge, which will be on show with a custom made livery. Equipped with a two-cylinder TwinAir Turbo Natural Power engine, with dual petrol – methane fuel, it develops 80 HP (59 kW) and consumes 4.5 litres of petrol or 3.1 kilos of methane (per one hundred kilometres of combined cycle), with minimal CO2 emissions: 106 g/km when using petrol and 85g/km when using methane. Compared to petrol, methane reduces CO2 emissions by 23 per cent and nitric oxide emissions by 52 per cent.
FCA has been the leader in Europe for bi-fuel vehicles for twenty years, with over 700 thousand sold vehicles and a range of six Fiat brand models (Panda, Punto, Qubo, Doblò, 500L and 500L Living), one from Lancia (Ypsilon) and four from Fiat Professional: Fiorino, Doblò Cargo, Ducato and Ducato Panorama.
In order to obtain real benefits in air quality, and thus sustainable mobility, Fiat says there is a need to continue working on combined traditional and alternative technologies, keeping in mind the specific rules of each market. Among these, methane has the potential of being a renewable source thanks to biomethane, a fuel with high development potential. Biomethane denotes a bio-gas that yields a concentration of methane after a refining process (from urban, agricultural of farming waste), so that it can be used as bio-fuel for engine vehicles just like natural gas.
Biomethane produces 20% less CO2 emissions than petrol. The real advantage of biomethane becomes clear when the full life cycle of this fuel, the so called “well-to-wheel” cycle, is considered. In this case reduction in CO2 emissions can exceed 95 per cent, depending on the original raw material: biomethane fuelled vehicles produce the same amount of CO2 as electric cars using renewable source energy. Furthermore, using a 40% methane-biomethane mix, NGV CO2 emissions are the same as those of an electric vehicle using energy from the energy mix of European production plants.
(Source: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles)