CNG wins the 2016 Shell Eco-Marathon
The challenge was to cover as much distance as possible on the amount of CNG (compressed natural gas) energetically equivalent to one litre of petrol. The MicroJoule ran out of fuel after running an impressive 2606 km! This was the car's second attempt at the Shell Eco-Marathon. The team behind the vehicle was supported by GRTgaz – a French gas pipeline system operator.
Both the creators of the vehicle and the sponsor believe that natural gas is an efficient fuel allowing to improve air quality by curbing emissions of greenhouse gasses from road transport. It has been highlighted that available technology makes natural-gas-powered vehicles as reliable as those running on conventional fuels.
Compared to a diesel-fueled counterpart, a vehicle powered with CNG spews out by 25% less carbon dioxide (CO2), significantly less nitrogen oxides and next to no particulate matter at all. On top of that, using renewable methane (biomethane) instead of fossil-sourced natural gas allows to reduce the carbon footprint of a vehicle fueled with it practically to naught. According to estimates, 14 thousand vehicles running on natural gas reduced CO2 emissions in France by 76 thousand tonnes (compared to diesel).
The Shell Eco-Marathon is a unique event conceived to stir creative thinking among students as far as vehicle designing, building and driving is concerned. The ultimate aim is to build vehicles capable of covering maximum distances on minimum energy.
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