Agility Fuel Solutions Triple Range for CNG Buses in India
Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan, India’s Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, launched India’s first long distance compressed natural gas (CNG) bus on December 24, 2019 under a strategic program led by Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL), the largest CNG distribution company in India. The launch ushers in CNG as the fuel of choice for long distance transportation in India.
The Honorable Minister speaking on the occasion complimented Agility Fuel Solutions and urged the Indian automotive and fleet industry to implement long distance travel solutions with CNG. Present at the launch were Dr. M.M. Kutty, Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Govt. of India, Mr. Gajendra Singh, Director, GAIL, Mr. Ranganathan, MD, IGL and Mr. Manoj Chugh, President, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.
The composite cylinder-based complete bus fuel system designed, engineered, assembled and delivered by Agility Fuel Solutions, along with its Indian partner Advantek Fuel Systems, more than doubles the range of India’s CNG buses and is also equipped with a special fast filling module to reduce filling time. While CNG buses in India previously traveled 350 kms at best, the program’s five buses with Agility’s technology each have a range of over 1100 kms – a first in India’s automotive history.
Agility Fuel Solutions’ roof top CNG systems
With BS VI Emissions Standards going into effect on 1 April 2020, IGL’s program begins a shift away from diesel, which previously accounted for 100% of intercity travel, towards a gas-based economy. Buses outfitted with Agility Fuel Solutions’ roof top CNG systems not only allow fleet owners to achieve BS VI easily, but allow them to do so in a cost-effective manner, since CNG costs less than diesel.
“We are very happy to be working with Agility to showcase this technology in India and we hope that fleet operators will shift to CNG for long distance operations since they will save both on fuel costs but also save on the green tax levied for diesel vehicles,” said Mr. Ranganathan, the Managing Director of IGL. “The Indian market represents a significant opportunity for Agility Fuel Solutions to bring its world leading product line to this market. Agility already has a strong presence in the market and intends to expand manufacturing capabilities in India,” added Eric Bippus, SVP of Global Sales and Marketing of Agility Fuel Solutions.
At 1360 liters total, Agility’s four tanks nearly double the 720-liter capacity of India’s current CNG bus systems. At the same time, India’s current systems have a weight of around 1100 kgs, which will reduce drastically to 490 kgs using Agility’s systems. Fleet operators thus get more than double the range at less than half the weight. CNG buses also get better mileage and have lower maintenance costs.
“Agility is the only company that offered system solutions and offered to assume turnkey responsibility to handle this project. Due to our longstanding relationship and established trust, we were more than thrilled to work with IGL, the pioneers and leader in India’s gas industry on this initiative,” said Ravindra Vasisht, Director of Agility India Pvt Ltd & Hexagon Composites India.
Additionally, CNG costs on average about 20-25% less than diesel. IGL’s pilot program leads the way for fleet owners to save money on long distance travel, even while complying with BS VI. Delhi is one of four cities implementing new CNG technology under the encouragement of Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL). Together, city gas companies in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru are also planning to demonstrate how long distance CNG buses can become common in India.
About Indraprastha Gas Limited
Incorporated in 1998, IGL has its operations in the National Capital Territory of Delhi, Noida, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad, Rewari, Karnal and Muzaffarnagar with 513 CNG stations servicing 1.11 million CNG vehicles including fueling the largest CNG bus fleet in the world, 1.22 million residential consumers and 4900 industrial/commercial customers with 13,626 kms of pipelines. The company revenues are estimated at 905 million US Dollars.