Volkswagen’s new eco up! is a new natural gas car which debuted in Europe early this winter. The eco up! can run on natural gas and biomethane, and consumes just 2.9 kg (approximately 11 gallons) of natural gas per 100 km (62 miles). The Volkswagen gets an approximate equivalent of 56 miles per gallon; the Honda Civic Natural Gas, which is presently the only commercially available natural gas passenger vehicle in the United States, gets 31 mpg.
Volkswagen has been equipping vehicles with natural gas drives since the beginning of the 1990s at first as a retrofit in conjunction with the IAV subsidiary in Berlin. However, with the growth of natural gas cars, Volkswagen increasingly worked on original plant solutions. Volkswagen feels one of the greatest benefits of natural gas cars is their ability to be powered not only by natural gas but by alternative fuels such as renewable biomethane. Produced from plant by-products, biomethane does not compete with food crops; it is also CO2-neutral, because the car only emits as much carbon dioxide in combustion as is absorbed while the plants were growing.
Volkswagen’s eco up! is now commercially available in Europe. The car can run on compressed natural gas (CNG) and biomethane, and gets approximately 56 miles per gallon. Credit: Volkswagen.
Today, Volkswagen offers six natural gas powered vehicles in various classes that are commercially available in Europe: Caddy 2.0 EcoFuel, the extended Caddy Maxi 2.0 EcoFuel, the Touran 1.4 TSI EcoFuel, the Passat, and Passat Estate 1.4 TSI EcoFuel, and the eco up! In the upcoming year, the new Golf will debut in an EcoFuel version.