Driving on natural gas is the best option for an increasing number of Belgians

Today DATS 24 opens its 63rd CNG filling station in Knokke. This is the starting signal for the opening of 25 new sites where natural gas can be refuelled as part of the DATS 24 network in Flanders and Wallonia. Other locations include Sint-Truiden, Tienen, Sint-Pieters-Leeuw, Wommelgem and Ronse alongside Eupen, Beyne-Heusay, Basecles, Ath, Thuin, Frameries, Amay, Nivelles and Tournai. Cars powered by natural gas are always affordable, can be used by everyone and straightaway, contribute towards better air quality. The effect of this is that an increasing number of natural gas vehicles are being registered in Belgium.

CNG network expands systematically in Belgium and Europe

DATS 24, Colruyt Group's fuel supplier, has set the market in motion. By 2020, the number of CNG stations in Belgium should increase from 110 to 170. Almost all other fuel suppliers have started constructing CNG installations at their filling stations. In Europe, too, CNG is making rapid progress, with ambitious expansion plans in France (+250), Spain (+300), Germany (+1,000) and Italy (+300), and other countries

Driving on natural gas considerably increases our mobility

According to a recent study by the Commission for Electricity and Gas Regulation (CREG), driving on natural gas has an important role to play in the greening of our mobility. According to this study, driving on CNG emits up to 31 less CO2 and reduces particulate matter and NOx emissions by about 75. (Source)

Drivers looking for a new car are right to think about the choice between a diesel or petrol car. The desire for greening is becoming increasingly evident. An absolute requirement is not to compromise on comfort and ease of use. Moreover, few people are willing to pay more for a clean car.

That's where the power of driving on natural gas or CNG lies", says Raf Flebus, Business Unit Manager of DATS 24. “Air quality is deteriorating sharply in Belgium, especially in Flanders. Drivers want to be green, but with the same level comfort and at no extra cost. CNG vehicles certainly offer the huge advantage of being cheaper and drivable everywhere, as well as making a substantial contribution to a healthier living environment," says Raf Flebus.

More and more manufacturers are boarding the CNG train

Maarten Van Houdenhove, PR manager of DATS 24, adds: "There is finally more movement in the market, and we are happy about that. In addition to Volkswagen, Seat, Skoda, Audi, Fiat and Opel brands, Ssangyong (Tivoli and XLV  with the CNG engine ex works) and Toyota now offer attractive models that run on CNG.  Toyota's hybrid models Auris, RAV 4 and C-HR are kitted out by Toyata itself with a CNG system.

Registrations of CNG cars doubled in 2018

According to FOD Mobiliteit, around 4,000 CNG cars were registered in 2018. Add to that vans and trucks, and you get 5,000 vehicles: roughly double the number in 2017. At the end of 2018, 14,200 CNG vehicles and 11,900 electric vehicles were on Belgian roads. 

Anyone can go for a green car

"We are in favour of using both alternatives, both CNG and electric," says Flebus. "We strongly recommend electric driving for anyone from whom purchase price, autonomy, home charging and availability do  not present an obstacle. All other drivers can make the switch to a CNG car with peace of mind. All you need is a filling station near your home, work or along a route you use a lot."

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