The country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India has sold around 235,000 CNG cars till March 31, 2022, amid rising prices of petrol and diesel. Its sales have increased by 31% year-on-year. The carmaker sold around 162,000 cars in FY 2021. Maruti Suzuki has 9 out of 15 models with CNG option. According to MSIL, the contribution of CNG to the total sales of the industry is around 8.5%.
Shashank Srivastava, Senior Executive Director, Maruti Suzuki India Limited said that the biggest reason for the demand is the low running cost of CNG cars, which is around Rs 1.80/km. It is around Rs 5.20/km for petrol/diesel cars. Apart from this, the number of CNG stations has also almost doubled in the last two years, it has increased from 1500 to more than 3,000 and its reach has increased from 140 cities two years ago to 253 cities now, he added.
Safety and quality concerns have been a major challenge for CNG which has now changed. Srivastava said, “Earlier, many retrofitted CNG cars were sold and they faced quality challenges. After the implementation of BS-VI, only company-fitted CNG cars were sold, thereby increasing consumer interest towards CNG vehicles. Let us inform that in the last 10 days, the prices of petrol and diesel have increased and so far the total has increased by more than Rs.6 per liter.
The demand for CNG variants of passenger vehicles is increasing. However, if MoRTH passes a resolution allowing retro fitment of CNG kits in BSVI vehicles, it may hamper the sale of vehicles with factory-fitted CNG kits. The draft notification also proposes to replace the used diesel engine with CNG engine. The narrowing of the price differential between CNG and petrol/diesel may also hamper the demand for CNG vehicles.