Is a natural gas conversion really so environmentally friendly and when is it worthwhile??

Converting cars: natural gas makes vehicles more environmentally friendly

Before converting to natural gas, the advantages and disadvantages must be weighed up accordingly

Before converting to natural gas, e,s advantages and disadvantages must be weighed up accordingly.

car tolls, diesel driving bans, environmental zones: in germany, attempts are being made in a number of ways to reduce the climate change to counteract at least a little. One way to save your ecological footprint to reduce emissions, the natural gas conversion of their car. However, this is not worthwhile for every motorist, as converting to natural gas with high cost connected and in certain areas the freedom of movement limited with your own vehicle.

Here you can read everything about natural gas conversion: which costs what you have to expect, what exactly is done during the conversion, and which advantages and disadvantages this brings with it. You can also find out what you can expect after natural gas conversion fuel must and which production possibilities there are.

FAQ: natural gas conversion

In principle, this is only possible for gasoline-powered cars. Natural gas must be ignited, which is why the engine needs spark plugs. a gasoline car already has spark plugs. When natural gas is retrofitted, the workshop usually simply installs another one. Diesel vehicles generally do not have spark plugs, as the mixture in the engine ignites itself. it would be far too expensive and time-consuming to install about four new spark plugs.

The cost always depends on the vehicle and the size and number of natural gas tanks. They are about 3.500 to 4.500 euro.

Since the conversion to natural gas is associated with high costs, it is only worthwhile if you drive a lot and will use the car for many years to come. CNG prices range from 1.06 to 1.20 euros, depending on the time of day. Advantages and disadvantages of the conversion we have listed here for you.

This is what happens in the workshop during natural gas conversion

Natural gas is not the same as autogas. As the name suggests, natural gas is found under the earth. It consists mainly of methane, which highly flammable is. Other components can be added depending on the deposit. After a natural gas conversion, you actually refuel gas. The fuel is strongly compressed, but still remains gaseous. Natural gas is therefore CNG for "compressed natural gas" abbreviated.

Before natural gas conversion, a special exhaust gas test is carried out

Prior to the natural gas conversion, a special exhaust gas test is.

LPG on the other hand consists for the most part of propane and butane and is a byproduct of natural gas production. However, the two substances do not remain in the form of gas but are strongly cooled and liquefied. The temperature and the corresponding pressure are also fuel pump is kept so that the aggregate state does not change again. As a result, you will be refueling with autogas a liquid fuel. The abbreviation for autogas is usually LPG for "liquefied petroleum gas" or also NGL for "natural gas liquids.

Before natural gas conversion, the car is subjected to a exhaust gas inspection subjected to. In order for the fuel to be stored, it requires one or more gas tanks. These receive the necessary valves and the connection to the engine.

The natural gas tanks are usually installed behind the back seat in the trunk installed or on the vehicle floor. According to some manufacturers these have around 20 years of life to be expected.

If the CNG conversion is done in a specialist workshop If the conversion is carried out by a mechanic, the mechanic usually makes sure to use components that have already passed a gas system installation test ECE symbol own. These must be paid before the subsequent acceptance not approved separately will be charged. The colleagues of the technical inspection association (TuV) and the DEKRA carry out the acceptance. In the following gas system installation test (GSP) by an expert. The natural gas conversion is therefore carried out according to this scheme:

  • special emissions inspection
  • Natural gas conversion of the passenger car
  • acceptance
  • GSP

Converting a car to natural gas: these are the costs you have to expect

Do you want your car to run on natural gas? The conversion triggers high costs, which are usually amortized only after years

your car should run on natural gas? The conversion triggers high costs, which are usually amortized only after years.

such a natural gas conversion is not a small "intervention". This should be in a specialist workshop carried out, as you may have problems with the operating license you could get in germany, for example, if you want your vehicle to be in the abroad have it converted. Because the gas system, which is used in the respective workshop, must have a EU approval which you do not receive in every country.

In the case of a natural gas conversion on a car, the costs depend on the workshop the conversion, besides, of course, from the model of the car and the size of the natural gas tanks. Rough estimate of the cost of natural gas conversion between 3.500 and 4.500 euro. In addition the fees for the GSP, which are based on fixed 100 euro amount.

In order to be able to use the natural gas conversion on the safe side to be, you should pay attention to the following points if possible:

  • Have the conversion carried out in a workshop where you have the qualification of mechanics by means of certificates be able to recognize. For the natural gas conversion, a GAP training (gas system inspection training) an.
  • The installed gas system should be tested according to ECE-R-115 be approved
  • Attention: when converting to natural gas, the manufacturer’s warranty for material defects usually expires! An additional insurance can help here.

natural gas conversion: a subsidy can support you financially

gas supply company support the natural gas conversion in part with high contributions from several hundred euros or fuel vouchers. This is how a incentive to do something for the environment and have your car converted. the prerequisite for the subsidy is usually only the new registration of a natural gas vehicle or the first natural gas conversion. Some electricity providers even allow the cash injection for several private cars and company vehicles of a person. For more detailed information, please contact your electricity supplier.

In addition, the vehicle tax for natural gas powered vehicles significantly lower. The prices for CNG at the gas stations are also very different from those for diesel or gasoline. It depends on the time and the weekday approximately between 1,10 euro and 1,20 euro.

Can a diesel car be converted to natural gas??

passenger cars: conversion to natural gas is usually not possible with diesels

passenger cars: conversion to natural gas is usually not possible with diesels.

In the theory it is quite possible to carry out the natural gas conversion on a diesel car. In the practice however, this is not only very high effort connected, but also triggers much higher costs from. Because gasoline engines in cars do not perform like those in diesel vehicles self-ignition, but for this spark plugs own, can be converting gasoline engines to natural gas is easier. It simply has to be other spark plug to be installed.

diesel engines do not need spark plugs. strong gasoline mixture is created by the compression of sucked-in air, which is drawn in through valves heat of up to 900 degrees celsius. At injection of diesel ignites the mixture and burns. The resulting print transfers the corresponding pistons and thus the car in movement.

After a natural gas conversion the principle is the same as for cars with gasoline engines: the mixture is generated on similar way only that the air is not compressed as much. Here is a spark necessary to ignite the gasoline-air mixture. Therefore, after a natural gas conversion, a car needs one or more spark plugs.

How clean is the car after natural gas conversion??

To help you convert your car to more environmentally friendly natural gas, some utilities offer incentives

In order for you to convert your car to more environmentally friendly natural gas, some electric utilities offer a subsidy.

the natural gas conversion does a lot for the environment. Carbon dioxide emissions are much lower than those of diesel or gasoline-powered vehicles because the fuel is very much fewer carbon atoms contains. In conventional internal combustion engines, a large number of these are released, but in natural gas vehicles it is up to 25 percent less CO2 into the air. Nevertheless, the gas not emission free, because also the gas contained in the CNG methane promotes the greenhouse effect.

Apart from that, the natural gas must first be promoted become. The processes involved can be seen in part as morally questionable classified. CNG mostly occurs in the vicinity of crude oil up, which is why the gas has to be transported away directly to get to the valuable oil.

However, the escaping gas is often simply burned, instead of using it as an energy source. If, on the other hand, it is properly promoted, the transport of the gas. Germany receives natural gas primarily from netherlands and on the north stream pipeline from russia. Also the transfer of natural gas on the ship is possible, which in turn has an impact on the life cycle assessment has. In fact, there are also natural gas deposits in the north sea.

Refueling after natural gas conversion

After natural gas conversion, your car will require CNG at the fueling station

After natural gas conversion, your car needs CNG at the filling station.

If the gas has reached the filling station and you have converted your car to an natural gas conversion sooner or later they will have to CNG refueling, if they are of the new inexpensive fuel want to benefit. The supply network at natural gas filling stations that offer CNG has so far been not very big, in which is a decisive disadvantage lies. Currently there are around 900 gas stations, offer CNG in this country.

After converting to natural gas, do you want to save refuel, you will find – depending on where you are in germany – the designation L or H at the gas pump. As a rule both types of natural gas used become. The difference lies in the heating value, higher with H-gas (high-gas) than with L-gas (low-gas). This has H-natural gas a higher range as L-gas and is correspondingly somewhat more expensive.

Converting your car to natural gas – for whom is the conversion worthwhile??

eligible: electricity suppliers and some insurers grant subsidies and rebates pure natural gas cars have a short range
low costs when refueling, if mainly natural gas is used for driving no nationwide network of filling stations
savings on motor vehicle tax space in the trunk reduced
reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by up to 25%

Basically the conversion to natural gas is worthwhile for frequent drivers. Since the costs in middle three-digit range lie, they must use the car often, so that they are profitable and the conversion pays. For vehicles that only run on weekend are used, the natural gas conversion is more recommended not.

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Christina Cherry
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