1What are the differences between LPG or Autogas and Natural Gas (CNG / FISIKON)?

Natural gas is found in nature and is extracted by drilling. It consists mainly of methane and has a low carbon content, which makes it more environmentally friendly.

LPG is a by-product of oil and is produced during refining. Its existence therefore depends on the existence of oil. It is a mixture mainly of propane and butane and has no stable composition.

Natural gas is lighter than air and in the event of a leak it escapes into the atmosphere, while LPG is heavier than air and flows downwards where it can pool into cavities and create an explosive atmosphere.

Natural gas is sold in kilograms (unit of mass). Each kilogram of natural gas provides the same energy as two liters of LPG. Natural gas is much cheaper. In everyday conditions non-professional drivers using natural gas can save up to 40% compared to LPG (calculation done with the current CNG-LPG prices). To calculate the fuel difference, click here

Natural gas is more environmentally friendly with about 30% less CO2 emissions compared to petrol engines. LPG emits 15% less CO2 than petrol engines.

Furthermore, natural gas is distributed through a pipeline system and therefore it cannot be adulterated.

2How much cheaper is natural gas as a fuel compared to other conventional fuels?

Natural gas is cheaper than petrol, cheaper than diesel and a LPG. CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) is sold in kilograms, not in liters. In terms of performance, one kilogram of natural gas is equivalent to 1.5 liters of unleaded petrol, 1.3 liters of diesel and 2 liters of LPG.

3How safe and reliable is the conversion of my existing vehicle to CNG?

Almost all petrol engines can be converted to become bi-fuel.

Natural gas is a clean and efficient fuel, and its combustion causes much less damage to the engine, reducing thus maintenance costs.

4How extensive is the gas stations network and what are the prospects for the future?

DEPA introduced compressed natural gas (CNG) for the supply of vehicles with natural gas, under the brand name “FISIKON”, to the Greek market. Currently, there are 28 FISIKON fuelling stations in operation: two wholly-owned in Anthousa and Ano Liossia, and 26 operated in collaboration with other companies.
The establishment and further development of FISIKON aimed, from the beginning, at the gradual expansion of the CNG fuelling stations’ network s and the increase of CNG vehicles’ fleet, based on a development plan integrated in the private economy (CNG fueling stations of third companies already operate in Greece) and the fully liberalized, in terms of regulatory framework as well as in practice, Greek natural gas (including CNG) market.
The progress of the FISIKON fuelling station network expansion is presented in the map here-below.

5What is the availability of natural gas for vehicles in the rest of Europe?

According to NGVA Europe, the number of CNG stations in Europe has exceeded 3,500 in order to meet the refueling demand for 2,000,000 vehicles on the roads of European cities. More precisely:

By visiting http://www.ngva.eu/stations-map/ you can see the CNG network in Europe.

The European Union has issued a directive, which has also been adopted by Greece in Greek Law  4439/2016, based on which, all Member States are required to build gas stations per 150 kilometers on high-speed motorways.

6What options do I have in case I want to purchase a professional vehicle?

The use of natural gas in commercial fleets - especially abroad - is a "routine affair" and, as it is the case, the smaller companies follow the practices of the larger ones, thus increasing the demand.

Big car manufacturers produce new models such as mini-vans and light trucks to serve businesses that choose to equip their fleets with natural gas vehicles. IVECO, SCANIA, FIAT, VOLKSWAGEN and OPEL, offer a variety of professional bi-fuel CNG vehicles (natural gas - petrol) for greater autonomy and fuel savings.

For more information, please refer to specialized magazines and sites, such as https://pro.autotriti.gr/newcars/search/stagrhgora.asp

Some of the models available in the Greek market are indicatively listed

7Can I convert my professional diesel vehicle?

In the case of the conversion of diesel engines, dual fuel technology is used, i.e. both fuels are mixed in the engine.

The conversion of the diesel engine to bi fuel with CNG differs significantly from that of the petrol engine and mainly concerns heavy vehicles travelling on motorways, without frequent stops. In these circumstances it offers a significant savings in fuel costs, as a cost reduction of 25% is achieved.

Vehicles moving in the city at variable speeds have no advantages. For these cases, the automotive industry offers either light trucks or mono-fuel buses, such as the well-known CNG buses and garbage trucks.

8How do I know if my vehicle can be converted to bi fuel with CNG?

You should contact a certified car repair shop with a license to convert vehicles from the Ministry of Environment & Energy.

9How much environmentally friendlier is natural gas?

The use of natural gas in transport contributes to achieving the European objective of tackling climate change.

According to the Renewable Energy Center (CRES), natural gas vehicles are very environmentally friendly with regard to emissions of gaseous pollutants, i.e. emissions affecting human health, such as particulate matter (PM), carbon monoxide (CO ), carbon dioxide (CO2), sulfur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carcinogenic hydrocarbons (HC) cyclic and unsaturated, generated by incomplete combustion of conventional fuels.

Natural gas vehicles have almost zero emissions of particulate matter, zero sulfur oxides (SOx), minimal cyclic hydrocarbons, much less nitrogen oxides (NOx) and less carbon dioxide (CO2). Particles and sulfur oxides are mainly due to diesel engines.

Gas-powered engines produce 25% less carbon dioxide than petrol engines and 35% less than diesel ones.

10How safe is natural gas as a fuel?

According to Scientific Institutes, Universities of Europe and North America, natural gas is the safest fuel because of its physical and chemical properties.

It is lighter than air (0,65%) and in case of leakage it escapes upwards and diffuses. It ignites only at a concentration of 5-15% with air and does not explode.

CNG technology is now mature and completely safe.

11Why is natural gas sold in kilograms and what is the ratio of one kilogram of natural gas to one liter of LPG or petrol?

Natural gas is measured in units of mass and sold in kilograms (kg). The method is very precise and independent of the gas pressure.

1 kg of natural gas is equivalent in energy to 1.5 liters of petrol, 1.3 liters of diesel and 2.0 liters of LPG.

12Can the gas be adulterated?
No, because it is received from the pipeline system and compressed in a closed circuit, without allowing any interventions, before it is fed to the vehicle.
13Why gas tanks are not always filled with the same amount?

During summer, when temperatures are higher, the gas expands and the tank of the vehicle receives a smaller amount but of the same pressure, while in winter the tank is filled with more gas.

In any case, however, the consumer always pays the quantity he buys, since the measurement is done in units of mass.

14What other options do I have when traveling besides the Fisikon fueling stations?
CNG is available in most European countries. In any case, CNG vehicles are bi-fuel ones and can run on petrol in Greece or elsewhere where there are no CNG stations yet. By visiting http://www.ngva.eu/stations-map/ you can see the CNG network in Europe.