Another of the forthcoming highlights of the Paris Motor Show will be the debut of a natural gas powered Mercedes-Benz B-Class.
There is no indication that the car will ever come to the UK, but in Germany the B 200 Natural Gas Drive is expected to arrive in dealerships from early 2013.
It promises emissions 16 per cent lower than those of the B 200 BlueEFFICIENCY fitted with petrol engine and costs around half as much in fuel when broken down into a price per kilometre. Using an ‘energy space’ modular body concept; the B 200 Natural Gas Drive car has a partial double floor beneath the rear seat bench to accommodate one large and two smaller natural gas containers, holding a total of 125 litres of natural gas (corresponding to approx. 21 kg). This allows it to retain the same boot space that’s available on petrol and diesel versions of the car.
In natural gas mode, consumption of the 115 kW (156 hp) B 200 Natural Gas Drive is just 4.2 kg/100 km – corresponding to CO2 emissions of 115g/km.
Performance is also on a similar level to petrol models: the B 200 Natural Gas Drive can reach speeds of up to 124mph, and accelerates from 0 to 62mph in 9.1 seconds. The driving range in natural gas mode is around 310 miles.
Back-up petrol tank
For emergencies, the car also includes a small 12-litre petrol tank on board. In the event that the gas tank should ever run dry, the vehicle switches over automatically, to petrol operation. Because drivers are not able to select petrol mode themselves, the B 200 Natural Gas Drive is considered primarily a natural gas car and taxed more favourably as such.
The B 200 can use both mineral gas and biogas, to enable it to offer an environmental advantage over petrol and diesel cars. Even synthetically produced gas can be used: this is produced using "excess" energy from solar power plants or wind farms, and in the future could help to resolve the storage problems encountered with alternative power generation.
This natural gas version joins the new B-Class family, which began its market launch in November 2011. By the end of June this year, the B-Class family sold more than 70,000 models worldwide.
The B 200 Natural Gas Drive will make its world premiere at the Paris Motor Show which runs from 27 September to 14 October 2012.
Faye has been writing about cars and environmental issues since 2007. A suspected eco-warrior working on the corporate inside, Faye mainly likes the weird, quirky vehicles that show a distinct environmental advantage. Her ideal car has enough room to fit a bale of hay in the boot. When not working, she likes nothing better than to head out on her bicycle and explore the countryside.
September 06, 2012
Filed under: Mercedes
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