Skoda launching two new CNG-powered vehicles in Europe in June

  • Image Credit: Skoda
Skoda's second- and third-ever production compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles aren't exactly speed burners, but they are efficient. The Czech automaker, which is owned by Volkswagen, will introduce its Octavia G-TEC and Octavia Combi G-TEC models to most of Europe next month. Skoda's first CNG model was the Citigo, which debuted in 2012.

The Octavia models will have a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine that will deliver about 109 horsepower. Quickness isn't these cars' virtue, as their 0-60 mile per hour acceleration time will be almost 11 seconds. But they can go as far as 826 miles on their tanks of gas and CNG, enough to go from Prague to Rome in one shot, in case anyone was curious. Or nuts.

The move by Skoda makes sense, as the CNG market in Europe has long been far further along than it is on this side of the pond, where CNG has primarily been used to move delivery trucks, but it's now available in pickups form Chrysler, Ford and General Motors as well as passenger cars from Chevy and Honda.

The Skoda Citigo has moved almost 2,000 units since its debut, with 1,300 vehicles sold last year alone. That car can go as far as 385 miles on CNG and gasoline combined, which is impressive but not quite as bladder busting as the Octavia models. Check out Skoda's press release below.
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ŠKODA continues its CNG offensive with the new ŠKODA Octavia G-TEC
  • Launch of the new ŠKODA Octavia G-TEC and new Octavia Combi G-TEC in June
  • First ŠKODA Octavia with natural gas drive as standard; 97 g CO2/km
  • High-performance technology: bivalent turbo engine 1.4 TSI/81 kW
  • The ultimate in fuel economy: up to 1,330 km with natural gas and petrol
  • ŠKODA Citigo G-TEC has enjoyed market success since 2012; only 79 g CO2/km
  • Natural gas is the environmentally-friendly, cost-effective alternative
​Mladá Boleslav, 19 May 2014 – Expanding its environmentally-friendly model range, ŠKODA is renewing its emphasis on compressed natural gas vehicles. The new ŠKODA Octavia G-TEC and the new ŠKODA Octavia Combi G-TEC will be given their market premiere in June. This will increase the brand's CNG range to three models. Since the end of 2012, the little natural gas-drive Citigo has been successfully touring the European markets.

​"With the new Octavia G-TEC and the Octavia Combi G-TEC, our model range is becoming even more environmentally-friendly," says Dr Frank Welsch, ŠKODA Board Member for Technical Development. "CNG is a practical way forward for environmentally-friendly driving and is good value for money these days. Using CNG, we can meet customer demand for eco-friendly, economical and affordable vehicles," says Dr. Welsch.

The market launch of the Octavia G-TEC and the Octavia Combi G-TEC will take place in several stages from June 2014 in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Czech Republic.

Bivalent turbo engine 1.4 TSI/81 kW Green tec with a range of up to 1,330 km

The new ŠKODA Octavia G-TECs, saloon and estate, have a 1.4 TSI turbo engine with a capacity of 81 kW (110 PS) and will run on petrol and CNG. CNG stands for compressed natural gas. Both natural gas Octavia vehicles are fitted with the Green tec package as standard, including technical features such as start-stop system and brake energy recovery. The modern engine meets standard EU-6, which comes into force in September 2014.

The ranges of the new Octavia G-TEC are impressive: in CNG-only mode, the Octavia G-TEC and the Octavia Combi G-TEC can travel up to 410 km without refuelling. Fuel consumption is 5.4 m3 (3.5 kg) of natural gas per 100 km, with CO2 emissions of just 97 g/km. In petrol-only mode, the range is up to 920 km. The Octavia G-TEC will travel up to 1,330 km on a single tank of fuel. For all the Octavia G-TEC's fuel economy, it is still a fun car to drive. The maximum torque of 200 Nm is achieved between 1,500 and 3,500 rpm. The Octavia G-TEC saloon accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 10.9 seconds. Top speed is 195 km/h.

The two CNG tanks have a total maximum capacity of 97 litres or 15 kg of CNG at a pressure of 200 bar. They are mounted in the form of underbody tanks on a special frame underneath the floor of the boot. The ingenious position of the tanks means that the generous size of the vehicle's interior is not affected. The CNG-fuelled Octavia also has the best interior values in its class. The boot has a capacity of 460 litres (saloon) or 480 litres (estate).

Success for ŠKODA Citigo G-TEC; more than 1,900 vehicles have already been sold

The Citigo natural gas car became available in October 2012. This clean little car sets new standards in its class when it comes to conserving the earth's natural resources. Hardly any other car in its class is as eco-friendly, comfortable and safe to drive away in as the natural gas Citigo.

This car uses just 4.4 m3 (2.9 kg) natural gas per 100 km, with CO2 emissions of just 79 g/km. The total range is 620 km (400 km gas, 220 km petrol). As with the Octavia G-TEC, two underbody tanks are mounted, next to the 10-litre petrol tank, under the chassis floor to save space.

The Citigo G-TEC is forging ahead. Since its market launch, ŠKODA has delivered more than 1,900 vehicles to customers, 1,300 in 2013 alone.

Last year, the Citigo G-TEC shared Germany's Verkehrsclub Deutschland (VCD) title of most environmentally-friendly vehicle of the year with affiliated models of other Volkswagen Group brands. Last year, one record-breaking journey in particular raised the Citigo G-TEC's profile. In August 2013, Austrian fuel-saving champion Gerhard Plattner drove the Citigo CNG from Vicenza in Italy to Stockholm in Sweden, taking five days at an average fuel consumption of 2.39 kg CNG/100 km.

Natural gas: the environmentally-friendly and cost-effective alternative

Natural gas is clean. The exhaust gases are not only odourless, but contain fewer pollutants than petrol or diesel exhaust gases. The favourable carbon to hydrogen ratio of methane decreases carbon dioxide emissions during combustion. Compared to petrol, the CO2 output is generally reduced by up to 23 % and the proportion of methane hydrocarbons has been reduced by an impressive 73 %. By comparison with a petrol engine of the same capacity, when operated in natural gas mode, around 80 % less carbon monoxide and 80 % less nitrogen oxide are produced. What is more, the closed-circuit system does not give rise to refuelling emissions.
Another advantage of natural gas vehicles is the significantly lower running cost. Depending on the market, natural gas is up to 60 % cheaper than petrol and approximately 40 % cheaper than diesel. In some European countries there are also tax advantages for purchasing a natural gas vehicle.

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