Recently we reported that Petrol cars are now 2.6 times costlier to run than CNG. Fuel prices are increasing on a regular basis and we don't know at what point fuel price rise will stop. While auto makers have started selling electric vehicles, they are still not very affordable and practical in India.
So, what is the alternate option? You can either buy a CNG car or retrofit a CNG kit in your existing car.
Due to its lower operating cost, the sales graph of CNG vehicles in India is gradually rising. However, people still have many doubts about using CNG as a fuel.
Many are opting CNG fuel option because of the lower running cost. But many others think that CNG reduces performance and pickup in comparison to the petrol powered cars. There are also several myths related to CNG vehicle's safety that further discourage people to opt for this cleaner powertrain.
If you are planning to go for CNG fuel option in your car, let us clear all your doubts and myths.
1. Can CNG reduce engine life?
CNG can not reduce a vehicle's engine life if the kit is factory-fitted and maintained regularly. OEM fitted CNG kits are equipped with ECU (electronic control units) and fuel injection system to ensure proper fuel supply.
Some manufacturers even use two interdependent ECUs for smoother engine performance. They also have especially developed valve seats to minimise wear and tear in the supply system.
Good quality after-market sequential CNG kits also use ECUs and intelligent injection system to keep vehicle's engine in good shape.
2. Can CNG increase car's fuel economy?
Yes, CNG can return more fuel economy when compared to other fuels like petrol or diesel. This is because CNG is a lighter and cleaner fuel, that reduces engine stress and delivers better fuel-efficiency. For example, BS6 Alto 800 petrol returns claimed fuel economy figure of 22.74 km/l while Alto 800 S-CNG returns 30.46 km/kg.
However, the fuel economy difference between a CNG and petrol/diesel vehicle is not as significant as the running cost. CNG fuel is quite cheap as compared to petrol or diesel; a litre of petrol in Delhi costs around ₹100.91 per litre while CNG costs ₹44.30/kg. This means that using a CNG vehicle is significantly cheaper than a petrol car.
3. Is using CNG dangerous?
Burning temperature of CNG is around 540-degree Celcius while petrol burns at approx 280-degree Celcius. CNG also mixes easily in the air to easily identify the leak because of odour. CNG cylinders are also built to hold more pressure than they will be usually subjected to even in case of accidents.
Go for certified CNG kits and make sure they are fitted by licensed agencies. Retro-fitted CNG kits can be dangerous if not fitted properly as it involves force-fitting fuel lines and electrical wire connections even though the car's design makes no accommodations for them.
OEM fitted CNG kits even come with a leak-proof design which is why many customers prefer these even though they cost more than after-market CNG kits.
4. Why we should step out of the car while filling CNG?
CNG is stored at high pressure and this builds high gas concentration. So at the time of filling CNG in a vehicle, this pressure can make any existing crack to bust open, resulting in the gas leakage. Hence, as a protective measure, it is advised to step out of the vehicle at the time of CNG refill.
Do let us know if this helps in selecting your next car.