Liiga-SaiPa Oy (SaiPa), a Finnish ice hockey team based in Lappeenranta, has introduced gas-fuelled vehicles running on Gasum’s domestically-produced, renewable biogas in a cooperative agreement between them and Auto-Suni, an official dealer for Škoda. SaiPa’s players, coaches and other staff will use CNG-powered Škoda Octavian G-TEC models.
While looking the same as other Octavia cars, the bi-fuel G-TEC is equipped with automatic switching between the two fuel systems, compressed natural gas (CNG) or renewable natural gas (RNG) and petrol. With gas, it promises low fuel consumption (from 5.5 m3/100km), as well as low CO2 emissions (from 98 g/km) in addition to reducing fuel costs because of the low price at the dispenser. Also, the driver benefits from quieter and smoother engine operation under natural gas power.
The Octavia G-TEC is fitted with a total of three fuel tanks: two for 97 litres of CNG and one 50-litre for gasoline, allowing a range of up to 1,330 km without refuelling.
All gas cars to be used by SaiPa players and staff will be acquired through the Auto-Suni Partner Affiliate.
SaiPa’s goalkeeper Frans Tuohimaa has been driving a gas car for a month now: “The introduction of the gas car has been easy and driving characteristics are no different from my previous cars. Refueling is also easy. I have driven so far on one hundred percent biogas, while filling stations are conveniently along the way. ”
According to Jussi Viljakainen, Marketing Director of SaiPa, the ice hockey team has become increasingly committed to reducing their environmental impact: “SaiPa wants to support the city of Lappeenranta’s aspiration to be the Finnish capital of climate change. With both small and large choices, we try to reduce the burden on the environment. It is of great importance to what fuel we use on a team’s vehicles and biogas is the most natural and easiest choice for us. The yellow and black heart can also be green! ”
Juha-Matti Koskinen, Gasum’s Sales Manager, is pleased with SaiPa’s car selection: “It’s great that one of the most watched sports team makes a greener choice by moving to environmentally friendly cars. Gas filling stations can already be found in almost all SM (ice hockey league) cities, including Lappeenranta. SaiPa is also a trendsetter nationwide, as gas cars are an excellent choice for other teams and companies as well.”
According to Ville Sun, Managing Director of Auto-Sun, 113-year-old family business is of the utmost importance to be SaiPa’s main partner: “We have always supported local sports clubs. SaiPa is the most well-known brand in Southeast Finland and we wanted to increase our cooperation further. Škoda was also inspired by SaiPa as a result of national visibility and positive reputation. Together, we got the idea of offering Škoda Octavia gas cars so that SaiPa would be the first League club to run environmentally friendly with domestic biogas.”
Source: Gasum Oy