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Mercedes-Benz begins sales of new E 200 NGT BlueEFFICIENCY bi-fuel natural gas vehicle

Mercedes-Benz E 200 NGT. Click to enlarge.

In parallel with its appearance at the Geneva Show, Mercedes-Benz’ new E 200 NGT BlueEFFICIENCY with bi-fuel natural gas drive is rolling out to European dealers. The basis for the natural gas engine is provided by the four-cylinder supercharged "Kompressor" engine with an output of 120 kW (163 hp). This has been modified with the addition of further injectors on the underside of the intake manifold and can run on either natural gas or unleaded premium-grade gasoline.

The output and torque characteristics of the four-cylinder power unit are maintained even when it is running on natural gas. In conjunction with a five-speed automatic transmission, the E-Class accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 10.4 seconds, while its top speed is 224 km/h (139 mph). Fuel consumption in gasoline-driven mode has been reduced compared with the predecessor model by 1.2 liters to 8.1 liters per 100 kilometers (29 mpg US), NEDC combined. In CNG operating mode, consumption could be reduced by 0.6 kg per 100 kilometers to 5.5 kg—corresponding to CO2 emissions of 149 g per kilometer.

Running on natural gas, the car has a range of around 360 kilometers (224 miles), while its standard 59 L fuel tank gives it a gasoline-driven range of around 730 kilometers (454 miles). Mercedes-Benz cites the advantages of running on natural gas as a reduction of around 10% in fuel consumption, a more than 20% reduction in CO2 emissions and significantly cleaner emissions than comparable models with gasoline engine only.

Along with the conventional gasoline tank from the standard model, four gas cylinders are concealed in the natural gas-powered vehicle—one behind the rear seat backrest and two underneath the floor of the trunk. They have a total capacity of 121.5 liters of natural gas (corresponding to 19.5 kg).

A pressure regulator with sensor and electromagnetic shut-off valve is fitted near the engine to regulate the supply of natural gas and maintain the required system pressure at a constant level. An engine management system ensures a smooth, jolt-free switch between modes even when the vehicle is moving.



Strange, my 2005 E220 hardly uses 7l/100km (diesel). And it isn't even blue efficiency.


"Along with the conventional gasoline tank from the standard model, four [should say three based on picture & math] gas cylinders are concealed in the natural gas-powered vehicle—one behind the rear seat backrest and two underneath the floor of the trunk. They have a total capacity of 121.5 liters of natural gas (corresponding to 19.5 kg)"

Anyway, 19.5 / 5.5 = 3.55 * 100 = 355 Kilometers (221 miles) per fill up with NG. But additional tanks could be put in the trunk to get significantly more range. I think this is great technology & doesn't look to be all that complicated!


This is impressive and desperately needed in the US market. The US just recently become more than self-sufficient in natural gas so NG fueled motor vehicles could reduce barrel imports. There remains the hurdle of fueling infrastructure which is all but nonexistent.


I think it's T. Boone Pickens that drives around in his NG Honda Civic, that he fuels up at home with a refueler in his garage. If the economics worked out, more people would go for this. If the vehicle had massive range & I could cheaply refuel at home, & if the sticker price wasn't too bad, this could be a major contender.


You could use Nat gas most of the time, and gasoline when it ran out (much like a PHEV).
This way, you could run it on nat gas for abut 80% of the time.
A little light hybridization wouldn't hurt either.
The advantage of a battery car is that you can refuel in a matter of minutes, not hours, and thus, even if the range is limited, you can hop from station to station (in 200 mile hops).

Nick Lyons

2012 Honda Civic NG model is going to be available nationwide. It will be interesting to see whether it gains traction. With home refueling, it becomes an interesting low operating cost, low criteria emissions, domestic energy security story. It should be a big seller to fleet users. If they could get the range up over 300 miles or so, it would be a lot more compelling, IMHO.


Bi-fuel has a couple of advantages in that the number of NG filling stations can grow as the market expands. When an EV runs out of battery 'juice' it will have to be towed but a small canister of liquid (petrol, diesel, E85 whatever) will get the bi-fuel vehicle home.

I wonder if other automakers like Ford who are wary of EVs will take this path. It's hard to see a PHEV having a liquids tank, a traction battery and a gas cylinder. A bi-fuel hybrid would be bulky and expensive.


Here we have pickup trucks that commute to work sites. A CNG tank in the back with dual fuel would save them money. If the natural gas ran low, it could switch to gasoline with no range anxiety.


If GM built a bi-fuel Chevy Silverado with a 5 gallon unleaded tank & NG canisters built into the bed & body, and there was signficant range with NG & the price was not too much more than standard, I bet it would sell.


Whether new or retrofit, it makes sense. Pickup trucks have the space and can carry the weight. Initially they might have to have home refueling, but over time with enough trucks it could be offered at some stations.


Great article! what do you guys think of the Mercedes Benz design in comparison with some of VW's concepts. Here is one, the "bulli bus" that was shown at Geneva

Henry Gibson

With the principles of engineering taken strictly, there is no weight advantage to have a large high pressure tank over many small ones that together have the same volume. This means that high pressure pipes could form some of the body members, and small or even tiny tanks could fit into any unused spaces.

A car this large should never be an electric plug in hybrid, but it should be a hydraulic hybrid. And for short distances it could use a simple electric pump to provide enough hydraulic pressure to move the car forward in creeping traffic.

It is amusing to see a non electric car be written about as having a limited range. Gasoline vehicles also have a limited range that is rarely mentioned. For most drivers a range of 40 miles a day is adequate.

It is foolish to have any vehicle that cannot use gasoline or diesel or ethanol or methanol when necessary.

Methane can be made and compressed at home and compression of natural gas is one way to have a partially electric automobile.

It is a real wonder why the railroad companies do not have CNG or LNG tankcars following the locomotives. A hosepipe can be used to supply the CNG to the intake air after a pressure regulator reduces the pressure.

A bushel of corn has as much energy as 3.4 gallons of diesel. It might be possible to convert two thirds or more of the energy in corn to energy in methane with simple anaerobic digestion. The same could be done with pure sugar. As mentioned before, it might also be possible to ferment methane from coal directly. Some companies are able to ferment Methane indirectly from coal already. Certain types of coal coke can be made to use in a charcoal gasifier for operating an engine. ..HG..

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