The Institut Français du Pétrole (IFP, French Oil Institute), has introduced a natural gas-powered car which reduces its CO2
emissions down to 84 g/km. The prototype, called Vehgan, was made from a standard older model Smart Fortwo with several technologies added to reduce fuel consumption. First of all, there is a downsized engine which uses a turbo and an intercooler, in this case, optimized for use with natural gas
. Then, the powertrain is mated to a Valeo StARS 14V+X hybrid
system, for which the IFP developed a new management process to minimize fuel consumption. This mild hybrid system has a Start&Stop function and features regenerative braking.
The car has a range of about 200 km (120 miles), but the composite-made gas reservoirs don't affect the vehicle interior. IFP expects future developments to reduce CO2
emissions down to 80 g/km. That would be 32 percent less than the standard gasoline version. Oh, and let's mention that despite Smart being a German brand, the factory that makes these cars is in France
via Le Blog Auto]