The Car owners are looking for alternative sources of fuel as the prices are set to rise. Many car buyers are deferring the idea of buying a car seeing the increase in crude oil price. Even those who own cars are finding it difficult to run. If the proposed hike is implemented, the running costs per kilometer will increase significantly.
Car owner are turning to cheaper alternatives like the LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) and CNG
(Compressed natural gas) kits to cut down the running costs. Many small car
manufactures have already launched CNG fitted variants such as Santro
, Indica and Lancer. However, the CNG variants in large cars are absent and if one wants them, they have to get it retrofitted in aftermarket. A CNG kit costs within the range of Rs 30,000 to Rs 37,000. The price could go up to Rs 50,000 for sedans and bigger cars.
Most CNG kits are of European make and are available with two year warranty. Very few Indian CNG kit are available in the market and are of sub-standard quality. The demand for retrofitting CNG kits is so much that car dealers in Mumbai are working overtime to meet the demand.
As petrol is now retailed at Rs 52 in Mumbai and diesel at Rs 38, the CNG is much cheaper at Rs 22 per kilogram. An average petrol/diesel model of a car would deliver a mileage of just Rs 10-12 kilometer per liter while a CNG car will give a mileage of 16 km per litre, thus making it the cheapest option.
But the car owners could also face a problem of re-fuelling. The CNG filling stations are few even in metros.
There are also some disadvantages of CNG cars. They are susceptible to fire. Many cases are reported where a CNG kit is blasted. Technical problems often crop up in CNG cars. It also affects the pick up and speed of the car. But it is the best cheaper alternative for crude oil.