"Green trip - blue flame" – according to this motto, Bürstner has developed its first eco-friendly alternative with a hybrid CNG-powered engine based on its Eliseo C 543 camper van. Currently still unique, this technology could in future be an economical and eco-friendly alternative to diesel and electric engines.
Kehl. Bürstner has addressed the issue of future technologies in the motorhome industry for quite some time, also when it comes to alternative fuel systems. That is why the Kehl-based company has now developed an alternative with an eco-friendly engine, the Eliseo CNG, based on its Eliseo C 543 camper van. Based on a 100 kW/134bhp Fiat Ducato "Natural Power", this Eliseo mainly runs on natural gas but is also equipped with a petrol-powered backup engine.
This alternative fuel system has a very positive impact on the vehicle's environmental footprint: It produces almost no particulate emissions, and low nitrogen oxide (NOX) and carbon emissions that are comparable to those of modern petrol or diesel fuelled vehicles. Running the vehicle on biogas even reduces the carbon emissions to zero. The Bürstner Eliseo CNG therefore meets the Euro 6d emission standards, which means that it can also be driven in inner city emission zones that are usually out of bounds to normal camper vans.
The vehicle is equipped with five natural gas tanks with an overall capacity of 22 litres/36kg that are cleverly and safely positioned underneath the floor to ensure that they do not reduce the available living space. The press launch vehicle has a reach of 400 kilometres before the engine automatically switches to petrol. The fifteen litres of petrol are intended to be used as a backup only; on the road, the engine speed is automatically limited to 90km/h. Special fuel injectors for natural gas and petrol are responsible for the fuel injection; the engine is also equipped with a turbocharger and a charge air cooler.
The vehicle runs on compressed natural gas (CNG), which is compressed to 200 bars before it is stored to save fuel tank space. Unlike liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), CNG is not refinery gas but a natural gas and just as safe as petrol or diesel.
In Germany, CNG is currently available at around 900 filling stations – only Italy has more, with around 1,250 filling stations. Throughout Germany, more than half of the CNG filling stations have switched to 100% bioCNG/biomethane (from waste); 94% of the country's CNG pumps are located at public branded service stations. Due to the low gas price and the low consumption, running a CNG vehicle also costs only around 60% of the cost of running a petrol-fuelled vehicle.
"With the Eliseo CNG, we want to provide our industry with yet more inspiration for a more environmentally-friendly future. At the moment, alternative engines for camper vans tend to be a more long-term issue. The respective demand is currently still low," says Bürstner's managing director Jens Kromer. "However, as soon as we manage to increase their reach and the refuelling infrastructure improves, the development of alternative engine types may well gain considerably more rapid dynamics over the next few years."
Whether the Eliseo CNG will be serial produced has currently not yet been decided. Either way, thanks to its full body wrap, the "Green trip – blue flame" press launch vehicle is certainly eye-catching and can mainly be admired on test drives throughout the south of Germany.
Bürstner GmbH & Co. KG
Bürstner is a brand in the mainstream segment that manufactures motorhomes, caravans and vans. Bürstner is particularly known for harmonious living ideas, functionality and living comfort with a contemporary look. Bürstner GmbH & Co. KG is based in Kehl, Germany, with a second production facility in Wissembourg (France/Alsace), and is part of the Erwin Hymer Group. Further information is also available at https://www.buerstner.com/
Erwin Hymer Group
The Erwin Hymer Group is a 100 percent subsidiary of Thor Industries, the world's leading
manufacturer of recreational vehicles with more than 25,000 employees worldwide. The Erwin Hymer Group unites motorhome and caravan manufacturers as well as motorhome and caravan accessory specialists, hire and financing services under one roof. The motorhome and caravan brands Buccaneer, Bürstner, Carado, Crosscamp, Compass, Dethleffs, Elddis, Eriba, Etrusco, Hymer, Laika, LMC, Niesmann+Bischoff, Sunlight and Xplore, the motorhome rental companies McRent and rent easy, and also the chassis specialist Goldschmitt, the accessories specialist Movera and the touring portal freeontour all belong to the Erwin Hymer Group. Further information is provided at www.erwinhymergroup.com.