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natural gas brings benefits over shorter distances
Unlike vehicles with so-called
monovalent drives from other manufacturers, the smart
fortwo cng (compressed natural gas) allows drivers to choose
between petrol or natural gas drive. The corresponding fuel is
then injected into the vehicles intake manifolds
which is why this prototype is equipped with two fuel tanks.
Believe it or not, the smart fortwo not only has room for
installing an additional fuel tank, but in fact even provides the
ideal conditions for doing so.
Changing between the two drive
types is even possible during a journey
The modular design of the fuel
system means that the entire high-pressure natural gas tank (2 x
16 litres) and the petrol tank (12 litres) fit in the cars
underbody. Thus the volume of the cars interior and luggage
compartment remain, as in the case of the electric drive model,
unimpaired. The only difference is the battery charge level
indicator and the switch for changing between the two drive
types, both located on the centre console.
The driver is even able to change
between the two drive types during a journey. The transition from
one operating mode to the other is extremely smooth. If the
natural gas supply starts to get a bit low, the driver can easily
continue to the next filling station with the help of the vehicles
Number of natural gas filling
stations has increased significantly
The cars fuel consumption
approx. 3.2 kilograms of natural gas/4.7 litres of petrol
per 100 kilometres under standard conditions gives the
smart fortwo cng a range of 385 kilometres (138 km with natural
gas, and 255 km with petrol). For purposes of comparison, the
petrol model, with its tank volume of 33 litres, can, on a purely
calculative basis, travel some 700 kilometres without a fuel stop.
As apparent from these figures, a
natural gas drive isnt going to suit everyones needs.
The efficiency of the vehicles motor and in
connection with its increased weight its payload is lower.
However, those who drive mainly
short distances will find that this combination of natural gas
and petrol drive brings considerable benefits. Provided that
there is a sufficient density of natural gas filling stations, a
vehicle of this kind makes real sense. And that is certainly the
trend: the number of natural gas filling stations has increased
several times over in the last few years alone.