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Getting around with natural gas

CNG users save 30% compared with diesel cars

The owner of a car fuelled with compressed natural gas tells us what his daily commute is like with a Leon TGI. Juan Galera estimates an annual €1,000 savings compared to his previous diesel. These models are classified as ECO and are not affected by traffic restrictions in cities during periods of high air pollution levels.

Juan Galera, a young accountant with two children, decided a year ago to switch to a car fuelled with compressed natural gas. He commutes daily an average of 50 km to drop his children off at school and drive to work, so getting around in a CNG powered car has its advantages. On the occasion of European Mobility Week, we went with Juan on one of his daily commutes to get his opinion about this alternative fuel:

Why did you switch to a car fuelled with natural gas?

I have three good reasons: I’m driving an ecological car, I can drive in city centres when there are air pollution restrictions and I save €20 a week on fuel. In my case, my daily commutes from home to my children’s school, work meetings and weekend getaways all amount to a 30% savings per kilometre compared with the diesel car I had a year ago.

Are there any other advantages?

I received a rebate when I bought it. As these vehicles are classified as ‘ECO’ by the Spanish Directorate General of Traffic, you get considerable discounts when you buy these cars. I saved up to €3,000. You even get discounts on toll roads and parking garages.

What was your initial reaction when you got behind the wheel of your CNG?

It may seem hard to believe, but I didn’t notice any difference while driving. In fact, the engine runs on gas until the tank is depleted and automatically switches to petrol. Besides a green light that comes on, the change is seamless and you don’t feel a thing. With both tanks full you can drive up to 1,300 km without stopping to refuel.

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Juan and his family drive an average of 50 km daily and he assures his natural gas powered car has saved him €1,000 a year compared to his previous diesel model
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On the occasion of European Mobility Week we accompanied the driver of a compressed natural gas car on his daily commute
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These vehicles are ecological and can be driven in cities during periods of high air pollution

SEAT Leon TGI Fuel consumption natural gas (CNG), combined: 3.6 kg/100km; CO₂-emission, combined: 96 g/km; CO₂- efficiency class: A+. Fuel consumption unleaded premium petrol, combined: 5.4-5.3 l/100 km; CO₂-emission, combined: 124-123 g/km; CO₂- efficiency class: B

When the time comes to refuel, how do you go about it?

There’s a gas filling station 10 minutes away from my work, so that’s very convenient for me. But even if it were located further away it would still be worthwhile. I usually fill up the tank with €13 every time I go, which is about 15 kg of gas, and I don’t have to return until five or six days later. I plan ahead when I’m going to make a longer trip, as in Spain there are 50 gas filling stations.

CNG can be very beneficial for restriction-free driving…

For me it’s a strong point, because I live in a small town in the province of Barcelona but I often drive to the city. It’s an advantage not being affected by traffic restrictions during high air pollution levels and driving into the city and parking without problems.

After a year of driving on natural gas, how do you rate the experience?

I get great mileage savings, the numbers speak for themselves. I’ve driven this SEAT Leon TGI every day for a year and I’ve saved €1,000 compared to the diesel car I had before. I’d say it’s a very recommendable switch!

Consumption value

SEAT Leon 1.4 TGI Start&Stop 81 kW (110 PS)
Fuel consumption natural gas (CNG), combined: 3.6 kg/100km; CO₂-emission, combined: 96 g/km; CO₂- efficiency class: A+
Fuel consumption unleaded premium petrol, combined: 5.3 l/100 km; CO₂-emission, combined: 124 g/km; CO₂- efficiency class: B


SEAT Leon ST 1.4 TGI Start&Stop 81 kW (110 PS) 6 speed gear
Fuel consumption natural gas (CNG), combined: 3.6 kg/100km; CO₂-emission, combined: 96 g/km; CO₂- efficiency class: A+
Fuel consumption unleaded premium petrol, combined: 5.3 l/100 km; CO₂-emission, combined: 124 g/km; CO₂- efficiency class: B


SEAT Leon ST 1.4 TGI Start&Stop 81 kW (110 PS) 7 speed DSG
Fuel consumption natural gas (CNG), combined: 3.6 kg/100km; CO₂-emission, combined: 96 g/km; CO₂-Effizienzklasse: A+
Fuel consumption unleaded premium petrol, combined: 5.4 l/100 km; CO₂-emission, combined: 123 g/km; CO₂- efficiency class: B