Sales of CNG-fuelled cars increase six-fold in the last five years in Spain

In the last five years, sales of cars powered by compressed natural gas (CNG) have tripled in Europe, while they have increased six-fold in Spain in the same period. Interest for compressed natural gas 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 is a clear 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, the country where we are the undisputed market leader”.

The Leon TGI inaugurates Europe’s newest and largest motorway filling station, owned by HAM

Spain’s HAM Group, the country’s leading company for liquefied natural gas (LNG) distribution, LNG regasification plant construction and natural gas refuelling stations, is finalising the implementation of its latest public natural gas filling station in Abrera, near Barcelona, in the same industrial park where the SEAT factory is located. This new station, which supplies natural gas in two end uses, LNG (liquefied) and CNG (compressed), uses pioneering technology and is the largest in Europe. It features a total of eight bays, four of which are intended for refuelling CNG-powered vehicles like the SEAT Leon TGI or the Mii Ecofuel, and another four for supplying LNG to heavy-duty vehicles. They also accommodate diesel fuel pumps. In addition, its completely integrated operation enables running the station with traditional filling station management systems. With this new flagship filling station, HAM now has ten supply points of natural gas for vehicle use.

The HAM Group owns the first corporate fleet of compressed natural gas-powered SEAT Leon TGI vehicles, which left the Martorell factory last year.