At the ‘Techno Buzz’ session of the Mobilis 2011 conference held mid-November in Belfort, France, a new natural gas – electric concept car was presented. This vehicle, a partnership between GDF Suez (CRIGEN), FAM Automobiles and France Craft, is said to be the first natural gas / biomethane to electric traction vehicle. Its design can be adapted for use as a pick-up (see image) or to carry four people.
The realization of this concept car aims to demonstrate the technical and environmental potential offered by the combination of gas and electric energy on the small commercial vehicles segment in urban areas. It also demonstrates the performance and compactness of the GDF Suez developed and patented engine.
The concept vehicle is not reliant on developed infrastructure for refueling. An information sheet calls upon people to “Imagine an innovative way of storing and distributing gas fuel, which does not require the “heavy” establishment of service stations in urban areas.”
The G-City uses an innovative on-board recharging of the batteries through a new compact engine, powered by “snap” natural gas / biomethane cartridges (2 cartridges 6.8 liters) made of lightweight composite materials. This range-extender gas gives a G-City electric range greater than 200 km. The quick connector system (type “snap”) is secure, ergonomic and industrialized (developed with the company Stäubli).
CO2 emissions and local pollutants (NOx, CO, particulates) are zero in electric mode and very low during operation of the range-extender (engine + generator).
(This article compiled using information from a partnership information sheet. Also thanks to Association Française du Gaz Naturel pour Véhicules (AFGNV)).