Is CNG the Right Fuel for Your Car: Deciphering the Myths

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CNG or compressed natural gas is considered one of the greenest fuel solutions and alternatives to fossil fuels such as gasoline and diesel. As discussions around greener fuel solutions multiply, CNG is finding more and more takers. In addition, various stakeholders in the automotive industry have argued for an increased preference for CNG.

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(Read also: Increasing Biofuel Production to Reduce Crude Oil Import Dependence: Nitin Gadkari)

With gasoline and diesel prices skyrocketing almost every day, CNG is still much more affordable for consumers due to its low cost and much better mileage.

Here are some factors to make you understand whether CNG is the right fuel for your car or not.

Cheaper fuel

CNG is much cheaper than gasoline or diesel. For example, one kg of CNG is currently available from ??49.76 in Delhi, while a liter of gasoline and diesel is available at ??107.59 and ??96.32 respectively in the national capital. Obviously, the price differences are very large. This means that while purchasing fuel for your car, you are saving the initial cost of fuel. The price fluctuations of CNG are much smaller than those of gasoline and diesel. Therefore, CNG is easily affordable.

Better mileage

Also in terms of mileage, CNG offers a better cost to the customer compared to gasoline or diesel. While gasoline or diesel offers an average of 15 kmpl and 17 kmpl respectively for mid-size passenger cars, in the case of CNG the average mileage is around 25-30 kmpl.

Greener fuel

Compared to gasoline or diesel, CNG is a greener fuel option. The emission of pollutants after the combustion of CNG is much lower compared to gasoline or diesel. Although CNG is a fossil fuel, it is the cleanest fuel in terms of Nox and soot (PM) emissions. CNG passenger vehicles emit 5-10% less CO2 compared to their gasoline-powered counterparts. Compared to diesel, CNG vehicles emit 80% particulate matter and 35% less hydrocarbons, but more than five times more carbon monoxide than diesel.

Ease of use

CNG can also be easily used to power passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles. While several automakers manufacture vehicles with in-company CNG kits, there is also easy availability of third-party or company-authorized CNG kits. This makes converting any conventional gasoline or diesel vehicle to CNG much easier.

Lack of CNG pumps

This has been a major concern for owners of CNG vehicles. In addition, the lack of CNG filling stations in India has resulted in slower, city-centric growth in CNG vehicle sales. Finding a CNG gas station is not easy on highways and in cities too, CNG stations have long lines. This often discourages potential vehicle buyers from switching to CNG cars. However, all passenger vehicle manufacturers that sell CNG cars offer CNG as a secondary fuel for these particular models. Gasoline-CNG models can run on both gasoline and CNG.


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