In times of comparatively low fuel prices, alternatives to super and diesel quickly take a back seat. But the prices at the petrol stations will also rise again - good for cheaper offers like natural gas.[lwptoc]
Skoda Scala g-Tec: The thing with CO2
Saving CO2 is a must for automakers. Since even a modern, low-consumption diesel that emits little CO2 still has an image problem, alternatives are needed. On the one hand, the carmakers are relying on electromobility, on the other hand they are pushing well-known drives such as compressed natural gas (CNG). The VW Group is now increasingly using CNG to positively influence its CO2 balance. The Scala with natural gas (from 22.200 euros), whose 1,0-liter three-cylinder engine has an output of 66 kW / 90 hp, is completely new to the range of VW subsidiary Skoda.
Natural gas scores with a good environmental balance. The gas burns with few harmful residues. Nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and, above all, soot particle emissions remain at a low level. It also has an advantage when it comes to CO2 emissions; The Scala TGI G-Tec emits 3,5 to 100 grams of CO95 with an average consumption of 96 kilograms for a distance of 2 kilometers. The 1,0 liter TSI with 70 kW / 95 PS has CO2 emissions of 114 grams. The 85 kW / 115 PS diesel emits 106 to 107 grams of CO2 per kilometer.
Skoda Scala g-Tec: Acquisition costs
Much has also happened in terms of acquisition costs. In the past, natural gas models were significantly more expensive than gasoline models, but the surcharge is now low. The Scala TGI G-Tec costs 1.050 euros more than the 1,0-liter TSI with comparable equipment ("Ambition"), but is 3.000 euros cheaper than the TDI with 115 PS.
This is how the Skoda Scala g-tec saves
However, the main potential for savings in the case of natural gas cars should result from the lower fuel costs. The alternative fuel continues to benefit from a reduced mineral oil tax rate thanks to the Energy Tax Act. Overall, the subsidy runs until 2026, from 2024 the tax advantage will be gradually reduced. On average, one kilogram of CNG currently costs one euro and is at the current price level for diesel. Due to its higher energy content compared to super and diesel, there is still a tank price advantage. However, it varies depending on which type of natural gas the filling station offers. H-gas has a higher energy density than L-gas, but is also somewhat more expensive.
This is how the Scala drives with CNG drive
And how does the Scala drive with a CNG drive? With 90 PS you don't expect a sports car acceleration, but the three-cylinder drives the Golf offshoot cheerfully. The prerequisite, however, is that you stay in the speed range between 1.800 and 3.800 revolutions by shifting in order to benefit from the maximum torque of 160 Nm. So you have to shift down more often on inclines, just as before planned overtaking maneuvers. But if you use the manual and precisely shifting six-speed gearbox, you can definitely experience driving pleasure.
This is due, among other things, to the successful chassis tuning, which masters the balancing act between comfortable and tight. But the driver's seat also contributes to the positive driving experience, as it provides good lateral support and great back and lumbar support. Only the view of the consumption data clouds the winding exit on small country roads. The on-board computer shows a consumption of 6 kilograms, 2,5 kilograms more than the average consumption. The next part of the route goes on federal highways. And lo and behold: with a steady, effortless driving style, consumption drops to just under five kilograms. Even switching to the autobahn, where things usually go at the recommended speed, doesn't change anything. Consumption levels off at 4,9 kilograms. With a little more restraint, values of 4,5 kilograms are certainly possible, which would reduce the fuel costs per 100 kilometers to an amount of less than 5 euros. The range of 13,8 kilograms of gas distributed across three tanks is sufficient for a distance of around 300 kilometers. When this is used up, there is still a fuel tank with 9 liters of petrol available. This should bring you almost 150 kilometers. Of course, it is more effective to drive exclusively with CNG. Finding a gas station is not that easy, however. Only around 850 natural gas filling stations are available nationwide. Ideally, commuters should have a gas station near their home or work. If you travel abroad often, you should think carefully about the natural gas supply there.
Great space in the Skoda Scala
Otherwise, the Scala scores with a generous amount of space, which definitely includes the rear seat users. The "Ambition" comfort level has the most important equipment features on board, but there is still room for improvement. From “Style” (24.200 euros), among other things, automatic air conditioning, smartphone connection via Apple Car and Android Auto, an 8-inch touch display and heated front seats are standard features. What is not available for the natural gas variant is the virtual cockpit. Here everything is still very similar. Oh yes: You also have to do without the Scala's generous trunk volume. The underground gas tanks have an effect on the luggage volume. Instead of 467 to 1.410 liters, only 339 to 1.282 liters are available.
Skoda Scala TGI G-Tec - Technical data:
Five-door, five-seat compact hatchback sedan; Length: 4,36 meters, width: 1,79 meters (width with exterior mirrors: 1,99 meters), height: 1,50 meters, wheelbase: 2,65 meters, trunk volume: 339 - 1.282 liters
1,0 liter TGI; Three-cylinder, 66 kW / 90 PS, maximum torque: 160 Nm at 1.80 - 3.800 rpm, 0-100 km / h: 12,4 s, Vmax: 182 km / h, standard consumption: 3,5 kg / 100 kilometers, CO2 emissions: 95 - 96 g / km, emissions standard: Euro 6d-temp, efficiency class: A +, price: from 22.200 euros
Skoda Scala TGI G-Tec - short description:
- Why: ideal for motorway commuters with a natural gas filling station nearby
- Why not: small trunk, low petrol station density
- What else: an economical diesel?
- When is it coming: can already be ordered