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Natural gas for cars has become 267% more expensive. LPG is the cheapest, gasoline has increased the least

While energy companies are trying to avoid expensive natural gas to generate electricity, some motorists have no choice. The economics of running on natural gas has been an unchanging certainty for fifteen years. Today, however, cars with the nickname of G-Tec, TGI or Ecofuel cost 267% more than last year. Diesel is 69% more expensive, LPG by 46% and petrol by 44%.

“There are few opportunities to refuel, sometimes the pumps are even closed in the bus depots and you have to ring the safety bell at night. But when a kilogram of natural gas costs ten crowns less than a liter of gasoline, there is no ‘is nothing to be solved economically “, was the typical conclusion of the test of CNG cars before ten years.

The excitement lessened slightly when, in 2014, the Saudis deliberately began making oil cheaper so that Iran without sanctions would profit from it. The gas price advantage decreased, but traffic was even cheaper. Service stations increased and manufacturers began to favor CNG vehicles because they reduced the fleet’s CO2 emissions. No one could have imagined that the situation would be completely reversed against gasoline.

Almost none of the above certainties hold true today. According to the website cng.cz, you can now fill one kilogram of natural gas in the Czech Republic for an average of CZK 74.70. Against the summer of 2020, when we are they tested the Seat Ibiza TGI, this means an increase of 267%. Every hundred kilometers after 4.3 kilograms now costs 320 crowns, which is equivalent to seven liters of diesel or eight liters of gasoline.

Z the price overview is further we learn that in North Moravia several stations sell a kilogram of petrol for 140 crowns. Near Prague, we found the highest price of 99.90 CZK in a private Hrubý trucking pump in Zdibe.

At the time of our visit the stand was already out of order, but after the last refueling the indicated price was in fact lit on the display. It is surprising that someone has come here, when the MOL station three hundred meters away offers CNG for a more acceptable 69.90 CZK.

The difference between the two neighboring stations explains the purchasing method. The gas enters the car service stations through the same medium pressure pipe of the apartment building. The station operator, who did not set the prices, today captures the fluctuations of the Rotterdam stock exchange live and transmits them to the customer.

Today, many regular buses or municipal vehicles also run on natural gas. There is a public station right on the premises of the Prague Services company, where Prague garbage collectors refuel. Now the price is 69.50 CZK per kilogram.

In addition to the gas tanks, some CNG cars also have a full size petrol tank, for example the Škoda Octavia G-Tec 1.4 TSI with 50 liters. Today, users can travel even longer distances on gasoline and it will be cheaper. However, during the changes since late 2018, when the more modern 1.5 TSI engine arrived, the Octavia switched to a so-called single-fuel system with only an emergency tank for nine liters of petrol. Which is also common with cars from other brands.

In the same period, the price of diesel rose from 26.50 to 45 crowns, of petrol from 27 to 39 crowns, of LPG from 13 to 19 crowns.

Even in the future, methane propulsion has less certain prospects. There is a shortage of Russian gas on the global market, the demand for supplies from other parts of the world is high, and the chances of a discount are minimal. The global oil supply is richer, which is best seen in the price of gasoline. The oversupply is reflected in it, as we produce more of it in Europe than we consume.

Liquid propane-butane, i.e. LPG, remains the most beneficial. In the Czech Republic it predominates as a product of refineries linked to the production of gasoline. Only a small part comes from natural gas filtration, where it obviously forms waste and demand does not grow significantly. The individually converted Octavia to LPG, which we tested a year ago, costs 176 crowns per 100 kilometers at today’s prices. This is 56 percent of the cost of methane.

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