Just one year ago, CERN took delivery of its first bi-fuel vehicles. At the time the head of the site services section in the GS Department, Véronique Marchal told the CERN Bulletin: “We are counting on CERN car users’ environmental awareness to use natural gas fuel whenever possible.” This hasn't happened. Today, the fleet comprises 100 vehicles capable of running with petrol or natural gas, but there is plenty of room for more users.
“Running on natural gas reduces carbon dioxide emissions by some 40%,” explains Serge Micallef of the Services Industriels de Genève (SIG), CERN’s partners for this green mobility project. CNG contains 20% biogas, which is carbon-neutral. CNG produces 60 to 95% less pollution overall than ordinary petrol, and it is entirely soot-free.
Filling up with gas requires a short drive to the BP station along the Route du Nant d'Avril, while petrol is available right on the CERN site. Still, it should be borne in mind that the BP station was equipped for gas specifically to cover CERN's needs, and its capacity was set accordingly. The fuel badge is easy to use compared with other ways of paying. “We negotiated and set up a partnership with the BP station to simplify the payment procedure. It’s also a matter of economics, because it would cost hundreds of thousands of Swiss francs to install a CNG filling station at CERN today,” concludes Isabelle Mardirossian, head of the Integrated Services Group in the GS Department.
CERN’s decision to make bi-fuel vehicles available to its users is part of its environmental policy, as befits any major organization today. Everyone's help will be needed if this venture with 100 vehicles, the first corporate fleet of its type in Suisse romande, is to be a success.
So think about going for the green option, because you can make a real difference. Or, as the new awareness campaign has it: “Hit the gas: go green!”