In the last five years, sales of natural gas vehicles (NGVs) in Spain have increased six-fold, double the three-fold rate recorded for Europe. Interest for cars powered by compressed natural gas (CNG) as an alternative fuel is still in its initial stages in Spain, and among other factors, the simultaneous launch of the SEAT Leon TGI and the Mii Ecofuel in 2014 has been the driving force behind its growth and development nationally.
Spain has become the third largest market for SEAT in terms of CNG technology after Italy and Germany, and the positive results show no signs of easing. In the first six months of 2015, the Spanish carmaker sold more CNG-fuelled cars in Spain than in all of 2014. The company ended last year as the undisputed leader in CNG vehicle sales in the Spanish market, and six months into this year, its market leadership grew even more, reaching a total share of 80%.
To continue along these lines of development and support, Vice-President for Government and Institutional Affairs for SEAT and the Volkswagen Group in Spain Ramón Paredes, and HAM Managing Director Antonio Murugó have signed a strategic agreement to advance compressed natural gas for vehicle use over the next two years. This represents a commitment by both companies to this alternative fuel source for ecological, sustainable energy that will ensure a significant short-term improvement in air quality due to its reduced emissions and low cost.
HAM Group Managing Director Antonio Murugó stated that “in our opinion, CNG fuel is the well-established and much less expensive alternative to oil, which guarantees a significant improvement in air quality owing to its low emissions. Our tremendous growth enables us to develop state-of-the-art technology for cleaner energy, and one of our priorities is the new filling station which will soon be opened in Abrera with a definite commitment to supplying natural gas for vehicle use”.
Furthermore, Vice-President for Government and Institutional Affairs for SEAT and the Volkswagen Group in Spain Ramón Paredes pointed out that “SEAT’s commitment to sustainability is unwavering, and this reality is gradually moving into the markets where we operate. 66% of worldwide SEAT sales and 80% of the sales in Spain are vehicles with CO2 emissions below 120 g/km. From 2006 to 2014 we reduced the average CO2 emissions by 21% on all the vehicles we sold in Europe. In addition, we are currently heavily engaged in developing compressed natural gas with a special focus on Spain”.
In June, Spain’s Cabinet approved the Strategy for the Promotion of Alternative Energy Vehicles for the period 2014-2020, including natural gas vehicles, hydrogen and other alt-fuels.
(Source: HAM Group)