The A3 Sportback g-tron, Audi’s first production Audi A3 model capable of running on compressed natural gas is now ready, but will be available only for Germany for now.

Audi’s new car can be powered by Audi’s e-gas produced using green electricity, or by compressed natural gas, both of which are available to drivers in Germany, where advance sales of the car have just begun.

The automaker said the A3 g-tron forms part of a new, integrated and sustainable mobility concept from the Vorsprung durch Technik brand. Its 1.4-litre TFSI engine can be operated using either natural gas, e-gas generated by Audi or gasoline. In pure e-gas mode the g-tron is entirely CO2-neutral, added Audi, meaning that customers who use the Audi e-gas fuel card can opt to power their A3 g-tron without impacting on the environment if they wish.

The A3 Sportback g-tron price will start at 25,900 euros in Germany.

Audi e-gas is a synthetic methane that is produced at the Audi e-gas facility located in Werlte in Lower Saxony, Germany – the world’s first industrial power-to-gas plant. Green electricity is used in the production of Audi e-gas, and the process of generating it actually binds as much CO2 as is released when the Audi A3 g-tron is driven in gas mode, giving it exceptional ecological credentials.

Audi added on average the Audi A3 g-tron consumes between 3.2 and 3.3 kilograms of gas per 100 kilometers (62 miles). Fuel costs at present start at around 3.50 euros per 100 kilometers.

Per Audi, the buying principle for Audi e-gas is straightforward and corresponds to how green electricity is distributed: Audi records the quantities of gas that the customer pays for using their Audi e-gas fuel card and ensures that exactly this amount of Audi e-gas is fed into the German natural gas network. Customers who choose this option can obtain an Audi e-gas fuel card for a flat price of 14.95 euros per month. In addition, the costs for the quantities of gas refueled by each customer are deducted via the Audi e-gas fuel card. The card can be used to purchase Audi e-gas at over 650 fuel stations in Germany.

“In addition to our e-mobility developments, the Audi e-gas project is an important pillar of our sustainability strategy – as is the development of other synthetic fuels,” said Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Board Member for Technical Development at AUDI AG.

Audi is currently operating a research facility for the production of Audi e-ethanol and e-diesel with its partner Joule in Hobbs, New Mexico. Moreover, the company is conducting research into the synthetic manufacture of Audi e-gas in cooperation with Global Bioenergies.