Kia's head of powertrain development wants more emphasis on CNG power

The head of Powertrain engineering at Kia is pushing for more emphasis to be put on the benefits of powering cars with Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), saying its benefits are currently under-utilised.

Dr Joachim Hahn told Autocar at the Geneva motor show: "With all the work we do on internal combustion engines and hydrogen-powered cars, making big gains in CO2 reduction is either incredibly difficult or incredible expensive.

"That's why I see big potential in CNG. It can offer a 20 per cent CO2 reduction just like that – what other technology can give you that?

"It's also cheaper for the consumer than petrol and easier to store than either electricity or hydrogen. What's more, a wider spread of use of CNG would take some emphasis off oil, and open up more opportunities for worldwide suppliers – there would be no reliance on certain countries for supply."

Hahn conceded that widespread use of CNG was someway off, but argued that increasingly aggressive political legislation was making it more attractive to car manufacturers with time.

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"The market so far tells a different story to the one I'm pushing for, but in time CNG will make progress," he said. "I'm sure nobody thought 'Mr Diesel' had a good idea at first, but look at the situation now."

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