German CNG technology proven to be a sustainable and lucrative alternative to diesel complying worldwide highest safety standards and emissions as low as EURO 6.

Pilot project with MAN Gas-Powered Lion’s City Bus considered a safe solution for public transport in the GCC.

Beginning of this year the gulf just got a little greener driving a MAN Lion’s City CNG Bus on trial, which operates using cleaner and greener Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) technology. The bus operated for eight months in the UAE along with regular diesel powered buses to achieve a direct comparison. The comparative emission values have now been evaluated and published by MAN. The result is a higher exhaust gas quality compared to diesel buses and less nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxides and particles in the air. Additionally the state of the art safety features which the Lion’s City fulfilled, complying with the worldwide strictest security standards – the ECE-R110 guideline set a new standard in road safety in the region.

A market leader in this sector with more than 50 years of experience in natural gas-powered vehicles, MAN Truck & Bus has been a pioneer in the introduction of cleaner public transport solutions to the Middle East region. MAN took part in the pilot project supporting the region’s goal to ensure that natural gas accounts for twenty percent of the total amount of fuel consumed on the country’s roads in the near future.

The emissions of the CNG engine comply with EURO 6 exhaust norm plus EEV which means it has further reduced particulates emissions. Compared to the EURO 4 diesel which is the highest emission standard used in the GCC countries for buses, the CNG is reducing emissions of on average by more than 85% nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon dioxide, and particulates and contributes such to a cleaner and less polluted air.

“For the GCC these results mean that if the currently in public transport operating buses were exchanged with CNG buses, the emissions would be significantly reduced.” Thomas Weinmann, MAN Area Sales Manager Bus stated. “Additionally to this excellent eco figure the evaluation showed that the total operating costs per kilometre, are about 8 % less compared to a EURO 4 diesel powered bus, operating under the same conditions.”

“The MAN Lion’s City CNG is the first bus of its kind which complies with the ECE-R110 guideline and also fulfils the requirements of the applicable national regulation for natural gas vehicles in the UAE”. A representative of TUV Rheinland, the region’s most important international inspecting and auditing company for legal requirements and voluntary standards stated. “We found that the bus has state of the art safety features and the materials such as Type 4 fibreglass / carbon full wrap cylinders are of high-end quality. Fire controlling systems, shutoff valves, pressure regulation systems and gas detectors ensure more road safety and MAN’s experience and expertise in gas technology has been proven over the last 30 years.”

Commenting on the results, David van Graan, Head of MAN Center Middle East and Vice President Sales & Marketing said: “The Gulf Countries suffer a sizeable energy and emissions burden on account of their unique climatic conditions. Governments of this region are keen to reduce this energy dependence in terms of fuel consumption as well as invest in cleaner sources of fuel. For the future, CNG utilization in public transport is the best and most economical method of ensuring sustainable reduction of emissions.”

The MAN Lion’s City CNG Bus – based on 100% CNG technology especially developed for very hot regions – is a twelve-metre long low-floor solo bus, driven by a turbocharged six-cylinder engine powered by natural gas. The engine delivers 228 kW (310 hp) while its emissions are well below the limits set for Enhanced Environmentally-friendly Vehicles (EEV), currently the most stringent emission standard. The engine's exhaust gases are especially low in nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulates. In addition, a six-speed automatic gearbox equipped with a retarder detects up- and downhill gradients, automatically adjusting the gearshift points as it does so, thus helping to reduce fuel consumption. An additional benefit for the environment is the perceptible reduced noise emission with only 74db as compared to 78 dB of a diesel bus. An optional safety feature is the electrical stability program (ESP) to prevent the bus from flipping in extreme situations.