There have been multiple CNG car launches in India recently. From the Tata Tiago and Tigor to the latest CNG variants of the Baleno and Glanza. The hatchback segment has seen a rise in demand for CNG. Moreover, even the Tata Nexon and the Maruti Suzuki Brezza are expected to have their CNG variants in India soon! While this is currently restricted to a certain segment or a price bracket, does every manufacturer need to start making CNG cars? Let’s talk about this today!
The need for CNG cars
In India, fuel efficiency is one of the topmost priorities for a huge chunk of car buyers. The fuel prices fluctuate as erratically as the Indian rainfall and more often than not, they only go up. This makes driving unreasonably expensive and CNG seems like a good way out, for now. No doubt, EVs are way cheaper to drive, but CNG cars are currently more reliable because they have a well-set infrastructure. Moreover, converting a regular petrol car to CNG is pretty convenient, it’s something that can be done in almost any city. Here’s how you can do it!
Why CNG makes sense
Currently, CNG prices are at least 30% cheaper than petrol prices. This reduces your driving costs by a huge margin. You might say that a CNG car doesn’t perform as well as a regular petrol car, and you’re right! However, a CNG car user doesn’t care about performance as much as he does about efficiency. When compared to an EV, CNG currently makes more sense because there’s no range anxiety. Even if your car runs out of CNG, you can drive it on petrol until you reach the next CNG station. And a CNG station will probably not be as far away as an EV charging point.
Should all manufacturers start making CNG cars?
Well, this is not something that depends on a manufacturer as much as it depends on the overall cost of your product. It is pretty evident that the more someone spends on a car, the less they care about efficiency. For example, someone looking for a Rs. 20 Lakhs plus car would not have fuel efficiency at the top of their requirements. They would value comfort, luxury, convenience, and performance much more than efficiency. However, buyers in the smaller, less-expensive segments, say under Rs. 15 Lakhs would prioritize efficiency more. Something else to consider here is that a CNG variant of a car is at least Rs. 60,000-80,000 costlier than a petrol variant. This is why the hatchback/sub-compact SUV segment becomes more favorable for CNG variants. Therefore, manufacturers looking to expand their audience in the under Rs. 15 Lakhs market can consider offering CNG cars as well.
Would you buy the CNG variant of an expensive car like the Jeep Compass? Let us know in the comments below!