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IFP Developing Mild-Hybrid Natural Gas Demonstrator

IFP is developing a mild-hybrid urban vehicle based on the smart fortwo that is equipped with a downsized, turbocharged natural gas engine.


IFP expects the VEHGAN (Véhicule Hybride au Gaz Naturel) will have CO2 emissions 32% lower than those of a standard gasoline version, or less than 80 g/km, compared to 118 g/km.

The engine is optimized for stoichiometric operation, and the powertrain uses the StARS 14V + X micro-hybrid system from Valeo (earlier post). Valeo developed the StARS 14V + X in collaboration with Maxwell Technologies.



A 14 volt system might work in a car this small. ANG could be a good way of getting more NG in a smaller space at lower pressures. I like NG as a fuel for cars. 130 octane can be boosted nicely in a small engine for zip and cleaner air. NG wholesale is at $1 per therm, while gasoline is almost $3 per gallon wholesale on the futures market. NG is cost effective and clean. If they can find a way for ANG to get the range it could become popular.


Finally an HEV/NG

I was wondering why nobody asn't proposing that, HEV/NG are the best solution for Taxis and Urban bus.


I would like to see hybrid NG shuttles at airports. Lots of passengers wait in areas where the exhaust from shuttle vans accumulates. You could have a small V6 with hybrid and there should be lots of room for NG tanks. If range is a problem, you have refilling stations in the parking lots where they take the passengers.

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