Is CNG the right fuel for your car? Decoding the dilemma
CNG is the cleanest fossil fuel usable in combustion engine vehicles.
CNG or Compressed Natural Gas is considered one of the greener fuel solutions and alternatives to fossil fuels such as petrol and diesel. While the discussions around greener motor fuel solutions have been increasing, CNG is finding more and more takers. Also, there has been advocacy for increased preference for CNG by various auto industry stakeholders.
With the petrol and diesel prices skyrocketing almost every day, CNG is still much more affordable to the consumers due to its low cost and much better mileage on offer.
Here are a few factors to make you understand if CNG is the right fuel for your car or not.
CNG is much cheaper than petrol or diesel. For example, one kg of CNG is currently available at ₹49.76 in Delhi, while a litre of petrol and diesel is available at ₹107.59 and ₹96.32 respectively in the national capital. Clearly, the pricing differences are very much high. This means, while buying fuel for your car, you are saving the upfront fuel cost. Price fluctuations for CNG are significantly lower compared to petrol and diesel. Hence, CNG is easily affordable.
In terms of mileage as well, CNG offers better cost to the customer compared to petrol or diesel. While petrol or diesel on average offers 15 kmpl and 17 kmpl of mileage respectively for the mid-size passenger cars, in the case of CNG, the average mileage becomes around 25-30 kmpl.
Compared to petrol or diesel, CNG comes as a greener fuel option. The emission of pollutants after burning the CNG is much lower compared to petrol or diesel. Despite CNG being a fossil fuel, it is the cleanest burning fuel in terms of Nox and soot (PM) emissions. CNG powered passenger vehicles emit 5-10 per cent less CO2 compared to their petrol-powered counterparts. In comparison with diesel, CNG vehicles emit 80 per cent particulate matter and 35 per cent lesser hydrocarbons, but over five times more carbon monoxide than diesel.
CNG can be easily used in powering passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles as well. While several auto companies have been manufacturing vehicles with company fitted CNG kits onboard, there is easy availability of aftermarket third-party or company authorized CNG kits as well. This makes converting any conventional petrol or diesel-powered vehicle into CNG much easier.
Lack of CNG pumps
This has been a critical concern for CNG vehicle owners. Also, the lack of CNG fuel stations in India resulted in slower and only city-centric growth of CNG vehicle sales. Finding a CNG fuel station is not easy on highways and in cities as well, CNG stations witness long queues. This often discourages potential vehicle buyers to opt for CNG cars. However, all the passenger vehicle manufacturers that sell CNG cars, offer CNG as a secondary fuel option for these particular models. The petrol-CNG models can run on both petrol and CNG.