In Europe, air quality issues remain a significant concern. The ongoing extensive use of fossil fuels for transport and heating purposes leads to more than 400 000 premature deaths every year from conditions related to poor air quality, with many more suffering from smog-related conditions including asthma and other respiratory ailments.
This is leading many to turn to natural gas vehicles (NGVs) as a viable, energy-efficient alternative to petrol-powered cars. Alongside the evident environmental benefits, NGVs have also emerged as a cheaper option when it comes to automotive travel, as fuelling a traditional petrol vehicle accounts for more than 70% of the total cost of ownership.
This is where Latvian-based start-up HyGen promises to make a big difference. The company has developed a home refuelling station specifically for NGVs, which uses existing gas infrastructure and an innovative compressed natural gas (CNG) system to fully fuel an NGV in just three minutes. This can help cut fuel costs by more than 40%, equating to around 10 000€ in savings over the lifetime of an average car.
Thanks to its convenience, ease of use, durability and its ability to significantly reduce costs, HyGen’s product could be instrumental in transforming the natural gas industry and driving sales of NGVs. The potential of HyGen’s solution has been already recognised by a number of key players in the automotive sector: in 2018 the company signed a deal with Volkswagen to start working on three pilot projects.
HyGen has also recently reached the final stage of the second edition of the European Startup Prize for Mobility. Competing with over 570 applicants and based on rigorous criteria such as innovation, market traction and ecological impact, the company was named in the top 50 finalists. Winners of the competition will be announced on 11 April 2019 during the final awards ceremony in Brussels.
We believe in helping grow new ideas, products and solutions that will make a real difference to the world of energy, as well as the new businesses and new people that will help deliver this innovation to market. At InnoEnergy, we support and invest in innovation at every stage of the journey – from the classroom to the customer. In conjunction with our network of partners, we build connections across Europe, bringing together inventors and industry, entrepreneurs and markets, graduates and employers, and researchers and businesses.
By PowerUp! Team on in PowerUp! 2019