CNG cars: is it still profitable at 2.5 euros per kg?

With the start of the first military operations in Ukraineon the part of Russia, have registered one series of increases in commodities starting with petrol, passing through gas, up to methane. As reported in this previous news, theprice increase of fuels because of the war it seems still content but still growing for a few weeks. A quick analysis on Prezzibenzina.itshows us that in some pumps the price of methane has largely exceeded the price of 2 euros per kg, in some cases even touching 2.5 euros per kg.

From last August to today, the price of methane is almost tripled and you don’t need to be a scientist to understand that this type of fuel could lose all the advantage gained over petrol, diesel and LPG. Is using a methane car still worthwhile?

Taking into consideration i theoretical values ​​declared by the manufacturers, the answer is not the best. The fastest and most immediate comparison we can do with the Volkswagen Golf 8, the flagship sedan of the German group, available in petrol, diesel and methane versions. If we examine similar engines for costs and power, we immediately see how the most advantageous variant is still diesel.

In Golf 8 combined test cycle, in the 110 HP 1.0 TSI EVO engine (petrol) there is a consumption of 5.40 l / 100 km. For the 115 HP 2.0 TDI SCR diesel version, on the other hand, 4.48 l / 100 km are reached in the same cycle, while for methane with the 1.5 TGI 130 HP engine, 3.2 kg / 100 km.

Translated with the current prices, to go 100 km in the same WLTP cycle are needed: almost 10 euros with petrol, 7.73 euros with diesel and just over 8 euros for methane. If we also add that the base price, equal to the set-up, of a methane car is higher than a petrol / diesel one, the result is obvious.

Analogous speech for Audi A3, available in the engines: petrol (999cc, 3cil, 110hp), diesel (2000cc, 4cil, 116hp) and methane (1500cc, 4cil, 131hp). Here, unfortunately, we are not able to make a more precise comparison on the engines and fittings, in any case the CNG model appears again to be the most expensive of the lot. In terms of consumption, according to what has been declared, the situation is decidedly overlapping and to travel 100 km in the mixed cycle, respectively: 9 euros for petrol, 6 euros for diesel and 15 euros for methane.

And for the city-car? Unfortunately, in this context, it is even more difficult to find a model suitable for our theoretical comparison. Staying in the group Volkswagen, there Up! it is the best solution for this investigation; available with 1.0 68 Hp methane and 1.0 EVO 65 Hp petrol engines. Still to travel 100 km in the combined WLTP cycle, almost 8 euros are needed for the petrol version and more than 11 euros for methane.

If the price of methane were to return to the August values, the result could take a completely different turn but at the moment, unfortunately, methane no longer ensures any tangible savings.