Mercedes-Benz B-Class B 180 NGT: bestseller with clean natural gas drive
- Free choice between natural gas and petrol drive
- Attractive alternative – both ecologically and economically
- Five pressurised gas tanks of composite material
- Extensively modified intake module
- Eco-balance now also for natural gas operation
- 20 percent less CO2 over the entire lifecycle
Since the summer of 2008, the well-proven diesel and petrol engines in the B-Class have been joined by a bifuel version using natural gas and petrol. The abbreviation “NGT” stands for Natural Gas Technology. The success of the B 180 NGT is based on an intelligent concept which combines environmental compatibility and economy with the same driving pleasure. BlueEFFICIENCY is the term used to describe the commitment of Mercedes-Benz to further reductions in fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. Three models in the B-Class bear the BlueEFFICIENCY badge, among them the B 180 NGT.
Free choice between natural gas and petrol drive
Alternative and synthetic fuels for internal combustion engines will make an increasing contribution to environmentally compatible mobility. Their use can considerably improve the CO2 balance, while eliminating dependence on fossil fuels. The driver of the bifuel B 180 NGT has a free choice, as a button on the multifunction steering wheel enables him to decide which fuel is to power the engine. An electronic control unit ensures an immediate, smooth changeover from petrol to natural gas or vice versa – even when on the move.
Attractive alternative – both ecologically and economically
Thanks to lower CO2 emissions and fuel costs, natural gas is an attractive alternative to petrol and diesel in both ecological and economic terms. In the NEDC test (New European Driving Cycle), the CO2 emissions of 135 g/km are 17 percent lower than those of the B 180 with a petrol engine. If the natural gas consumption of the B 180 NGT at 4.9 kg (10.8 lbs) per 100 km (62 miles) is converted into the energy equivalent of petrol, the cost per kilometre is around 50 percent lower than when driving under petrol power.
Five pressurised gas tanks of composite material
In addition to the petrol tank with a capacity of 54 litres, there are five additional natural gas tanks on board the B 180 NGT. Two are installed centrally in the underfloor area and three under the rear end. Although they reduce the capacity of the luggage compartment by 128 litres (4.52 cu. ft), to 422 litres ( 14.90 cu. ft), there is still enough space for a family’s travelling luggage. The extra weight of the B 180 NGT versus the B 180 is only 120 kg (265 lbs). This is thanks to the use of particularly lightweight gas tanks of composite material, instead of conventional steel tanks.
The total 16 kg capacity of the gas tanks is sufficient to cover more than 300 km (186 miles). Given a combined NEDC fuel consumption of 7.3 l of premium petrol and 4.9 kg (10.8 lbs) of natural gas per 100 kilometres (62 miles), the B 180 NGT therefore has an operating range of more than 1000 km (621 miles).
Extensively modified intake module
The natural gas variant of the B-Class is based on the B 180, but has an engine with a displacement of two litres. It generates an output of 85 kW (116 hp) in both natural gas and petrol operation, with a maximum torque of 165 Nm (122 lb-ft) in each case. Performance is at a similar level to the B 180, which develops the same output with a smaller petrol engine.
Mercedes-Benz engineers have modified the engine with additional supply nozzles on the underside of the intake manifold. A pressure regulator which is located in close proximity to the engine and has a sensor brings the natural gas supply pressure down from 200 bar to 6-8 bar (2901 psi to 87 – 116 psi), and keeps the pressure in the system at a constant level.
Eco-balance now also for natural gas operation
For the first time, the developers have also produced an eco-balance for natural gas operation. This forms part of the environmental certificate for the B-Class granted by TÜV (the German technical inspection authority). Mercedes-Benz is the only automobile brand in the world to have this certification based on the stringent, international “Design for Environment” ISO standard 14062. In contrast to the standard measurement of exhaust emissions and fuel consumption on a dynamometer, the engineers analysed the environmental compatibility over the vehicle’s entire lifecycle – from production to many years of use and eventual end-of-life disposal.
20 percent less CO2 over the entire lifecycle
The results of this comprehensive analysis over a total distance of 150,000 km (93,206 miles) from production to final disposal show clear advantages for natural gas operation. In this case the overall eco-balance is around 20 percent more favourable than for a comparable model with a petrol engine. Thanks to the significantly more favourable operating characteristics with respect to CO2 emissions, the higher costs involved in the production of the B 180 NGT are already amortised at a vehicle mileage of about 20,000 km (12,427 miles).
Other emissions are also considerably lowered, with a particularly drastic reduction in carbon monoxide emissions by 54 percent. A further improvement in the eco-balance of natural gas vehicles can be achieved by the use of biogas obtained from renewable resources. This allows CO2 emissions to be further reduced by more than 50 percent.
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