SEAT President Luca de Meo and Snam CEO Marco Alverà have signed a strategic agreement in Milan, Italy, to promote the use of compressed natural gas (CNG) and renewable gas (biomethane) for sustainable mobility, as well as joint research and development projects in this scope.
SEAT, S.A., a Spanish automobile manufacturer, and Snam S.p.A., an Italian natural gas infrastructure company, share strategic markets such as Italy, France and Austria, which will enable the creation of synergies to boost CNG and bio-CNG as a clean and competitive alternative to traditional fuels.
Concluded within the framework of Snam’s Partners’ Day, the agreement provides that both companies explore business and commercial development opportunities aimed at corporate customers, dealers and consumers to promote the network of gas stations, as well as identify technological projects.
In addition, SEAT and Snam will collaborate in developing mobility services and creating new products, with the goal of offering added value to users of these kinds of vehicles. The strategic agreement, which could extend to other Volkswagen Group brands, also includes the technological development of biomethane, a renewable energy that helps reduce emissions even more.
SEAT President Luca de Meo highlighted that “the agreement with Snam enables us to take steps to democratising CNG. Italy is the leading market in the use of this energy and represents 55% of the sale of vehicles powered with this fuel in Europe this year. For SEAT, one out of every five vehicles sold in Italy uses CNG. With this agreement, we aim to further enhance the development of compressed natural gas in Italy and export this success case to other countries.”
“This partnership will strengthen the development of natural gas and biomethane-powered sustainable mobility, both in Italy and across Europe, combining Snam’s innovative infrastructure development, and SEAT’s expertise in rolling out new sustainable models,” said Alverà.
“We believe that natural gas is the most immediate solution to improving air quality in our cities, in addition to having environmental sustainability, performance and economic advantages. The rapid spread of renewable gas has highlighted this. Sustainable mobility is one of the key areas of focus for our EUR200 million (USD227 million) investment plan in energy transition businesses.”
CNG, A Sustainable Alternative
There is an upward trend in the use of compressed natural gas cars in Europe. Italy is the main market with a fleet of approximately one million vehicles and 1,300 refuelling stations. SEAT is committed to CNG as an efficient, profitable alternative. The brand currently offers compressed natural gas and petrol hybrid technology with the Mii, the Ibiza, the Leon and the Arona, the only CNG SUV in the world.
Snam has recently inaugurated its first L-CNG filling station in Pesaro, it has about 50 natural gas and biomethane refuelling plants currently in implementation and a pluriennal development plan of approximately 300 new distributors.
Driving with CNG emits 75% less nitrogen oxide compared to a diesel vehicle and 25% less CO2 than one that runs on petrol, and it does away with practically all particulate matter. Mobility with vehicular natural gas is considered environmentally friendly by the European Union, so the benefit of this kind of fuel includes the possibility of accessing European cities when there are traffic restrictions due to pollution. Besides contributing to the fight against climate change, natural gas also ensures significant economic advantages to consumers, as it enables savings of more than 30% per kilometre compared to diesel fuel and more than 55% in the case of petrol.