European motoring magazine Autobest’s international panel has awarded the ʻEcobest 2013′ title to Fiat’s ‘Methane programme’, deeming it the solution which is the simplest and most cost-effective and has the lowest environmental impact among fuels available today.
Inaugurated 12 years ago as the first European award dedicated to green products and technology in the automotive sector, the ʻEcobest’ title is awarded by a panel comprising 15 specialist journalists, representing the same number of European countries with a total population of approximately 300 million: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey and Ukraine.
The ‘Ecobest 2013’ title confirms Fiat’s commitment to continuous research into concrete, effective and accessible technological solutions. In the field of alternative fuels, Fiat considers that methane engines are now the most appropriate technological choice for contributing to the reduction of pollution in urban areas and the limitation of CO2 emissions. Methane engines minimise the most harmful emissions such as particulate (practically reduced to zero), nitrogen oxide and the most reactive hydrocarbons which cause the formation of other pollutants. They also generate 23 per cent less CO2 compared to running on petrol. Therefore, methane is the “cleanest” and cheapest fuel available today and it is also potentially a source of renewable energy thanks to the development of biomethane.
The Fiat Group has sold over 560,000 Natural Power cars and commercial vehicles.
Taking pride of place in Fiat’s ‘Methane’ programme is the methane-fuelled 0.9 TwinAir Turbo bi-fuel which develops maximum power of 80 HP (59 kW) at 5,500 rpm and a maximum torque of no fewer than 140 Nm at just 2,500 rpm. All of this with reduced emissions and fuel consumption: for example, the values recorded with the Fiat Panda TwinAir Turbo Natural Power are 86 g/km of CO2 and 3.1 kg of methane every 100 km/h respectively (combined cycle).
The methane range has contributed significantly to the records acknowledged in the latest research by JATO Dynamics, world leader in automotive consultancy and research. In 2012, for the sixth year running, Fiat proved to be the brand which recorded the lowest level of CO2 emissions in Europe among the best-selling automotive brands, with an average value of 119.8 g/km. Additionally, over the last 5 years, Fiat has reduced its average emissions by 13 per cent, which is significantly lower than the average target of 130 g/km set out by the European Union for 2015.