Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Skoda Aims to Clear the Air

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Skoda Aims to Clear the Air

Article excerpt

Byline: Steve Hughes

SKODA is to introduce a new SUV range that the company claims will make one of the most major contributions towards reducing automotive air pollution. Currently code-named the Skoda Vision X but possibly to be called Amiq when it goes on sale here next year, it will use triple power sources of petrol, electric and compressed natural gas.

The result will be a mainstream family vehicle that undercuts the world-wide target of 90g/km for CO2 emissions, albeit only just.

Beneath the bonnet is a turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine that has been specifically created to use compressed natural gas.

As well as conventionally extracted natural gas, CNG can also take the form of biogas or, with the help of green energy, synthetically produced natural gas. CNG vehicles running on conventional natural gas emit up to 25% less carbon dioxide than a petrol-powered model with a comparable power output. The proportion of nitrogen oxide, particulate matter and other emissions is also considerably lower than those of petrol or diesel engines. By adding biogas, CO2 emissions can be reduced further. When running on 100% biogas or synthetic natural gas, CNG vehicles are considered to be CO2 neutral.

The CNG drive system achieves a power output of 130bhp with maximum torque of 200Nm. In the case of the new Vision X, which will line up alongside the VW Group's similar T-Roc and SEAT Arona models, the CNG engine drives the front wheels whilst the electric power goes to the rear wheels.

The rear wheels receive power only when necessary, such as when pulling away quickly or for additional grip on slippery surfaces, but the vehicle can travel for a couple of miles on battery power only.

Obviously this is only a token distance, unlike a pure-electric Nissan LEAF for example, but is enough to keep areas around schools pollutionfree. …

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