India unveils first CNG bus covering 1,000 kilometers on a single fueling

India unveils first CNG bus covering 1,000 kilometers on a single fueling

In a major step towards making India a natural gas-based economy and making CNG as the eco-friendly option for long distance transport in the country, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel, unveiled India’s first long distance CNG bus. Fitted with composite CNG cylinders, it can travel around 1,000 kilometers on a single fill. The project has been executed by Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) and has been achieved through pioneering design of Type IV Composite Cylinders in buses, replacing traditional very heavy Type-I Carbon Steel cylinders.

According to Pradhan, these CNG buses are being run on a pilot test, but soon they will be scaled on commercial basis. “Delhi has witnessed revolution in shift towards cleaner, gas based fuels. Over 500 CNG stations are operating in Delhi NCR today and about 1.2 million piped natural gas connections have been provided. Long haul CNG buses originating from Delhi to other locations will further drive this shift towards cleaner gas based fuels. This will improve overall ease of living of people by mitigating the problem of air pollution, ensuring a cleaner environment and reducing waiting time at CNG stations,” he said.

He also expressed that the Government wants to have “green corridors” around the national capital, with natural gas buses operating from Delhi to Chandigarh, Dehradun, Agra and Jaipur, and it is committed to promote the gas-based economy. In this regard $100 billion investment is being made in the energy infrastructure. He further said that the Government wants to begin door-to-door delivery of CNG and LNG, as is being done for diesel by mobile dispenser. The Minister added that LNG will also be added as the transportation fuel.

Moreover, Pradhan informed that a pilot project of hydrogen-blended CNG is already running in the city, and it will soon be scaled up. He said that the Government is promoting the waste-to-wealth efforts, and all sources of energy will be used to bring down India’s oil import dependency and make environment better.

Mahindra & Mahindra and Agility Fuel Solutions of the United States have partnered with IGL for this project, involving the introduction of the new concept of Type IV composite cylinders, which are 70% lighter than the Type – I (all steel) cylinders (currently being used in India). The main advantage of these cylinders is that due to its lighter weight, the number of cylinders can be increased in the vehicle thus creating more storage capacity on-board.

The buses, which used to carry only 80-100 kg of CNG with steel cylinders, can carry now 225-275 kg of CNG with the new composite cylinders, translating into a wider driving range. In addition, with more capacity of CNG in one vehicle, it is likely that there shall be reduction in queues at the CNG stations as these buses will not have to come frequently to refuel.

IGL has procured five Mahindra’s Type IV buses, which will be deliver to Uttarakhand Transport Corporation (UTC) on lease basis after the launch.

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