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Environmentally friendly powertrain for Shanghai cab fleet

Around ten years ago, anyone getting into a cab in Shanghai almost always ended up in the back of a Santana. The notchback sedan’s omnipresence in the Chinese port metropolis would hardly have been possible without the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) drive system developed by IAV.

With the introduction of LPG propulsion in the model-maintained “Santana 3000”, the mixture of propane and butane was injected into the engine in liquid form. In view of the sometimes highly fluctuating gas quality and China’s complex climate, this solution was significantly more robust than previous vaporizer systems.

Ein weiteres GroƟprojekt in China: VW Lavida
Another major project in China: VW Lavida

“We improved the Santana’s performance, winter capability and exhaust gas quality because we injected liquid,” recalls Marcus Juentgen, who was jointly responsible for building an LPG-capable prototype at the time. The vehicle was bivalent and could switch between gas and gasoline operation at any time.

For the VW brand, the Santana was the basis of its success and further expansion in China. LPG qualified IAV for subsequent and in some cases even larger projects in the country, according to Dr. Bernd Becker, who was also involved in LPG development.