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Converting cars to gasoline will help both the economy and the environment – Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Date: June 14, 2024 Time: 18:35:33

“Various technologies can contribute to achieving climate goals, including those that have been used for a long time, such as nuclear generation, hydroelectric power and gas motor fuel,” the president emphasized.

720 million cubic meters of gas were released

According to the Gazprom Gazomotor Fuel company, in the first half of this year the country had stable demand for natural gas as motor fuel. In six months, 720 million cubic meters of methane were sold at automobile gas filling compressor stations (CNG filling stations), compared to 714 million in January-June 2022.

Thanks to the use of environmentally friendly fuel, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles amounted to 1.4 million tons of CO2 equivalent and those of pollutants to 23 thousand tons. The leader in consumption of natural gas in transport in the first half of the year was the Rostov region – 50.9 million cubic meters, the second and third places were occupied by the Krasnodar Territory (35.5 million) and Tatarstan ( 34.4 million cubic meters). A good increase in sales of natural motor gas (GMF) was recorded in the Irkutsk (plus 77 percent), Astrakhan (58 percent) and Tyumen (34 percent) regions, as well as in the Kamchatka Territory and St. Petersburg (30 and 26 percent). percent).

“The development of the gas motor fuel market conditionally covers three areas: public transport, industrial equipment and mass-produced cars. Private vehicles (about 55 percent of the total fleet) are the subject of the greatest attention from the regulator”. Pavel Maryshev, development director of an engineering company, told RG “Energy Plus”, – A preferential transport tax rate, subsidizing the conversion of cars to gas, fuel discounts and other marketing activities, along with an increase constant in gasoline and diesel fuel prices, should lead to growth in the gas engine transportation market in the coming years. The great interest of regional and federal departments in expanding the presence of gaseous fuel in the fuel market will have, in my opinion, a cumulative effect, and in the coming years In two or three years the fuel gas market will grow by 10 and 15 percent.”

How it all began

The development of gas transportation and the popularization of gas transportation in our country look like waves: they either fade to the point of denial or reactivate to the point of boom. Now we are back at the top of the chart. A webinar dedicated to alternative fuels for automobiles was held on the GAZ Campus online platform. Natalya Pletnikova, head of the product area development department of the Modern Transport Technologies (STT) group, said that the history of gas as motor fuel in our country began in the late 30s, but the Great Patriotic War slowed down this initiative. . In 1976, the gas issue was addressed again and serial GAZ trucks powered by propane appeared. For 15-20 years, more than 100 thousand cars were produced and they were clearly popular. In 1982, interest in methane arose; In 10 years, the ZIL, GAZ and KamAZ plants produced more than 70 thousand methane vehicles. Gas stations were also built. Then suddenly the light at the end of the tunnel turned out to be diesel fuel and the craving for gasoline disappeared.

Already in the 21st century there was a return of interest, and a serious one. In 2010, GAZelle Business began production in Nizhny Novgorod using propane, but the automobile plant quickly switched to methane, and the first series of methane GAZelles was launched in 2013, and within 10 years more than 10 thousand of them were produced. The line began to expand. In 2016, the medium-tonnage LAWN NEXT CNG powered by compressed methane (CNG – Compressed Natural Gas, in Russian – compressed natural gas, CNG) was launched on the market, and from that moment on, every time a new family of cars appeared, its methane version would surely appear. Thus, in 2019 the GAZelle NEXT CNG was launched (three thousand units have been produced to date), and in 2020 the GAZelle NEXT CNG minibus was launched. Serial production of methane-powered Gazelles, as already mentioned, began in 2013, but preparations for the promotion of HMT technology, of course, were carried out in advance.

“In 2012 it turned out that society, including the automobile industry, does not know gas or its advantages well. Thus, of the 62 companies that installed gas equipment, more than half refused to work with compressed fuel. natural gas “Among Of the motorists surveyed, a third knew nothing about gas equipment that uses methane, and twenty percent reported that they would never convert their car to gas. Harmful myths have formed that determine the attitude of the automobile market towards gas. “.

Pros and cons of a gasoline engine

According to Natalya Pletnikova, these myths, some of which border on the absurd, have yet to be debunked. What did its opponents accuse and accuse gaseous fuel of? For example, they claim that the interior of a car equipped with gas cylinders smells like gasoline. The mere transfer of the car to LPG “kills” the engine, if it does not take off into the air even before. Other complaints include loss of vehicle dynamics.

“For a gas explosion to occur in an accident, the cylinder must be greatly deformed,” says Pletnikova, “and for this the body must be well “crushed.” If a deformation occurs, when the interior has become two times. No matter how narrow or shorter, the crew will no longer care if something explodes there or not.

However, we must not forget that those who oppose the installation of LPG in gasoline or diesel cars are not old ladies sitting on a bench at the entrance, but quite competent engineers and specialists in the automobile industry.

“Despite the fact that gas costs about half the price and is cleaner than gasoline, and at the same time the power reserve increases on average by one and a half times, fuel for gas engines also has significant disadvantages,” he comments. Alexander Razin, director of administration. and economic activities in Baikal-Service TK – Normally, gas consumption is higher than gasoline, and when installing LPG, the engine loses about 15 percent of its power. In addition, it is likely that the engine will be removed from warranty, or the owner, upon contacting “He will hear a dozen reasons why the car’s failure is specifically related to the LPG installation. The exception, of course, is the factory version of a gasoline car.”

Switching to gas significantly reduces the resource of the internal combustion engine and there is no way to avoid it, continues the expert. First of all, we are talking about valves and block head. In addition, we must not forget about safety, which requires high-quality installation and regular monitoring of the LPG system. A major negative factor is the fact that there are few gas stations.

“Therefore, I think that there will not be a noticeable increase among motorists who want to switch to this type of economy, which is still quite doubtful. As for commercial vehicles, which the GMT is mainly aimed at, the increase here It could be up to 15 percent of the total number of the fleet”, – Alexander Razin is sure.

“Along with the obvious advantages of the GMT, which allows us to increase respect for the environment and reduce costs, it is also necessary to analyze the negative factors associated with vehicles that run on natural gas,” says Mikhail Akim, professor at the Higher Business School. According to the Higher School of Economics of the National Research University: “Initially, the GMT was promoted in China to reduce air pollution, however, recent studies and measurements of emissions from gas vehicles in real conditions in China have demonstrated high concentrations of methane in exhaust gases, which can have negative consequences for the climate. In particular, this is due to the fact that around 80 percent of gas-powered vehicles in China are adapted from conventional cars that were not originally intended for gas transmission.”

The benefits of clean air

However, the attitude of motorists towards gas fuel gradually improved. According to Natalya Pletnikova, if in 2016 83 percent of surveyed GMT car owners used gasoline only to start the engine and 48 percent used gasoline to get to the CNG filling station, in 2021 more than half of respondents were already in favor. GMT with both hands. And the fleet of CNG vehicles has doubled since the introduction of the government subsidy program. According to the expert, this was facilitated by the annual extension of this program (the measure is supported by 98 percent of buyers of gas turbine equipment), setting the cost of gas at a level of no more than 50 percent. percent of the cost of diesel. fuel and an increase in the number of CNG service stations. And saving at least 60 percent of fuel costs compared to gasoline and diesel turned out to be not a myth at all.

“Methane consumption is growing. In 2022 it will reach 1,484 million cubic meters, compared to 700 million in 2018,” said Oleg Ustinov, head of the sales organization department of Gazprom Gas Engine Fuel.

Not only the owners of these vehicles, but also the environment benefit from the use of hydroelectric vehicles. The price difference compared to gasoline and diesel is 2 to 2.5 times. At the same time, the engine burns almost completely: carbon monoxide emissions are reduced by eight times, nitrogen oxide emissions by two times, smoke levels are reduced by nine times, and no soot is formed at all. GMT does not create deposits in the fuel system and does not remove oil film from cylinder walls, which reduces engine wear. Methane is lighter than air and when the cylinder is depressurized it evaporates immediately. Well, for fleet managers it is important that the GMT on the highway cannot be emptied “to the side”.

gas brake

According to the Russian Transport Strategy, by 2030 the share of the vehicle park with engines running on alternative fuels (mainly we are talking about gas) should be at least 49 percent. At the same time, according to Gazprom, there are currently about 285 thousand gas vehicles in the country with a fleet of more than 50 million vehicles, and annual sales of gas vehicles do not exceed 5 percent of the total. Oleg Ustinov showed a slide that clearly shows that the dynamics of converting cars to LPG in 2022 has decreased: 12 thousand versus 17 thousand in 2021.

What is holding back the development of the HMT vehicle market? About five or seven years ago, the answer to this question was obvious: the lack of refueling infrastructure. In 2015, there were less than 300 CNG filling stations operating in Russia, but now there are more than 900! However, the representative of Gazprom Gas Engine Fuel himself complained that they are extremely unevenly located, concentrating mainly on the European part of the country.

In response to RG’s question about obstacles to gas transportation, Oleg Ustinov said that now, from the point of view of infrastructure and support programs, nothing slows down the market. “Rather, the influence is exerted by external factors, for example, the withdrawal of equipment suppliers from the market. And their replacement by new distributors and manufacturers. Now there is an excess of demand over supply, but I am sure that our manufacturers Let us face the task and this problem will disappear,” He emphasized.

The main reason for the slowdown in the development of the gas vehicle industry in Russia is low demand and a shortage of filling stations, the AvtoDom group of companies told RG. Presumably, by 2025, more than 500 thousand cars running on gas engine fuel will be sold in Russia, and by 2030 – 1.5 million. It is worth considering that this market, under favorable economic conditions, increases by between 30 and 35 thousand units per year. But now the pace of production and conversion of gasoline cars has slowed by about a third. To change the situation and stimulate market growth, it is necessary to strengthen government support measures for the purchase of such vehicles and ensure the development of gas filling infrastructure.

“The development of the HMT vehicle market is also hampered by the high cost of re-equipment (about 90 thousand for a passenger car, 150-160 for a GAZelle and about 600 thousand for long-haul trucks – note RG), and not as low as expected, the cost of gasoline and the psychological barriers of motorists who fear that after expensive repairs when installing new equipment they will have problems with the engine, – says Kirill Plokhikh, director of the Business Faculty of the Synergy University. – In addition, there are certain difficulties associated with ordering public transport at production plants: except in large cities, few people order methane-powered buses.”

ace in the hole

A presentation of the People’s Fuel project took place at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. According to Oleg Ustinov, its goal is to stimulate large-scale gas transportation throughout the country and includes various ways to encourage car owners who decide to switch to gas. Among the pleasant bonuses are the possibility of free or heavily discounted conversion of partner points (there are more than 250 of them), discounts on a certain amount of fuel, which will last for several years for private owners, benefits on transport tax on 33 regions of the country, etc.

“Russia has colossal gas reserves and a huge length of roads. We are faced with the task of achieving climate neutrality. Therefore, we must use all available means to achieve these tasks, and the consumer can receive the maximum benefit. The gas is a benefit”, within the framework of SPIEF 2023, was evaluated by the Deputy Minister of Energy, Pavel Sorokin.

And the chairman of the Economic Policy Committee of the Federation Council, Andrei Kutepov, highlighted the special need to use natural gas as fuel during the period of active gasification of the regions. He also believes that consumers should be offered to exchange obsolete cars for new, environmentally friendly models.

Within the framework of the People’s Fuel project, together with a new factory-made gasoline vehicle, the buyer receives a Gazprom fuel card with a 20% discount on refueling.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor is a full-time editor for ePrimefeed covering sports and movie news.
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