|The Sprinter 316 NGT prototype.|
Mercedes-Benz had its prototype Sprinter 316 NGT natural gas van on display at the Commercial Vehicle show in the UK. The new version of the dual-fuel van is slated for series production in 1Q 2008.
Although DaimlerChrysler has offered a natural gas version of the Sprinter since 1997, this is the first time the company has built a compressed natural gas version of the Sprinter from first principles. In the past, the NGT Sprinters have used a conversion from a gasoline engine—the M 111 E 23.
The new Sprinter 316 NGT meets the “enhanced environmentally friendly vehicles” (EEV) standard (earlier post), and produces 25% less CO2 than the gasoline version, and zero net CO2 if run on biomethane. EEV is a voluntary standard with the most stringent emissions levels established by the European Community.
The new vehicle also delivers more power and performance than its predecessor. The new engine delivers 115 kW (156 hp) of power, with 240 Nm (177 lb-ft) of torque. Range on CNG is 450 km (280 miles), with a total dual fuel range of 1,200 km (746 miles). The older version of the Sprinter NGT produces 95 kW (129 hp) of power and 185 Nm (136 lb-ft) of torque.
The vehicle is currently being trialed in Germany by DHL, Deutsche Post and UPS.
(A hat-tip to John!)