CNG is cheaper than petrol, diesel and LPG. It is also safer than LPG because of thickness of the tank and lightness of the gas.
Tata’s Nano is intended to bring a paradigm shift in middle class moving from a two-wheeler to four-wheeler. The car may have achieved the intent to certain extent. However, the price of the car is never a big burden for the middle class, which is any how available in various finance options and easy installments. But, owning a car is still a distant dream for many because of maintenance costs and rising petrol prices.
CNG is slowly turning out as an affordable fuel option by bringing down the fuel costs of the car by up to 60 per cent. For instance, if a petrol car gives a mileage of 15km per litre where as a car with CNG kit may give up to 20 km per 1kg.
Where as the cost of the CNG per 1kg is around Rs.43.50 and the petrol price is around Rs.75 per litre. With initial investment of Rs.55,000 for a kit, there may be a lifetime saving of 60 per cent in maintenance costs, said Kiran, founder, Green Drive Auto Gas.
Customers understood the price value of the CNG, which is much cheaper than petrol, diesel or even LPG. It is also safer than LPG because of thickness of the tank and lightness of the gas. It is cleaner and environmental friendly than diesel and petrol, he said.
Automobile majors like Maruti Suzuki have started embracing the technology and started adding a CNG as a fuel option for their petrol versions. However, installing a CNG kit is turning out as an alternate option for the cars without the CNG versions and for old cars.
There are two kits available in the market, one is the sequential kit with ECU and the other is a regular kit. The regular kit is priced from Rs.26,000 for 12kg tank capacity but has almost 15 per cent pick up drop than a petrol car. However, the sequential kits are priced around Rs.55,000, which have around 1 per cent drop in the pick up. Even the car manufactures are offering CNG versions (sequential kits) at a price addition of around Rs.70,000, said Kiran.
It is the important to check the fitment centre is approved by the government and is an authorised seller for the brands. The typical warranty varies from 1 year to 2 years but has a life of 10 years, he said
“The customers also lose the manufacturer’s warranty when they get these CNG kits installed, although they do not offer the CNG version models. However, this is not hindering the new customers coming to us,” Kiran said.
However, CNG tanks require storage space and customer has to compromise on the trunk space of the cars. It is very important to check how far is the nearest CNG pump from ones office or residence. There are only 12 CNG pumps in the City. Many customers are facing great difficulty in traveling far off places to get the tank filled or continue using petrol. Spending additional bucks on CNG version or getting the kit fitted may not be idle option if one hardly takes the car out.