Volkswagen launches gas-powered Caddy models
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles will launch the only compressed natural gas (CNG) powered compact panel vans in the UK (spring 2009). The Caddy and Caddy Maxi EcoFuel vans go on sale this summer.
The Volkswagen Caddy EcoFuel range has been developed as part of VWV’s environmental research programme. It has been on sale on the Continent since 2006: 7,500 examples were sold last year.
CNG-powered vehicles offer lower emissions and reduced fuel costs.
CNG is approximately 50% cheaper than diesel. Compared to the equivalent TDI engine carbon monoxide (CO) emissions are more than 50% lower; nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions are 97% lower; and there are zero particulates.
The engine can operate on biomethane, a sustainable fuel that is now becoming commercially available from renewable sources. Or CNG, which is the same gas we use for our heating and cooking at home. It also has a 13-litre petrol tank as a reserve. This is automatically engaged should the gas supply run out.
The steel gas tanks do not intrude on the Volkswagen Caddy‚Äôs load volume – they are mounted beneath the vehicle. So the 3.2 cu m loadspace of the Caddy and the 4.2cu m of the Maxi are not compromised.
The standard Caddy’s CNG tank has a 26kg gas capacity, offering a range of around 270 miles. Or, if combined with the petrol reserve more than 350 miles. The Caddy Maxi EcoFuel has a larger gas tank, giving it a range of 350 miles, plus 80 miles from the petrol tank – making a total of 430 miles.
Safety systems include extremely strong steel gas tanks which have proved to be heat-resistant and virtually indestructible in extreme testing. In the event of an accident, electro-magnetic valves with triple protection prevent any gas escaping. This provides the same benefit if the vehicle were to be driven off while it is being refuelled.
Volkswagen builds the Caddy EcoFuel models in the same factory as the rest of the Caddy van range and they are sold with the identical three-year/100,000 mile warranty. The benefits are a gas filling point being fitted behind the fuel filler flap; plus an electronic fuel gauge display integrated into the dashboard.
The Volkswagen Caddy EcoFuel is powered by a four-cylinder, 2.0-litre petrol unit optimised for CNG or petrol. It has CO2 emissions of 157g/km: over 20% lower than a conventional petrol engine.
It produces 109PS and 118lb ft of torque at 3,500 rpm. Prices will be released in late spring.