CNG or Compressed Natural Gas is the most viable alternate fuel for automobile companies in the near future. CNG is an alternated fuel which makes the use of compressed natural gas as a clean alternative to other fuels. Throughout the world there are 9.6 million vehicles running on CNG. CNG is viable or preferable because it has a host of advantages as against traditional fuels. CNG is environment friendly; economic, availability is in abundance and high in calorific value.
The central government has also stressed the importance of using CNG enabled vehicles. According to the government all public transports including buses and autos would be running on CNG. Transports fitted with a CNG kit are already running in cities like New Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad. CNG cars are said to be safer than LPG cars also because LPG is very highly combustible whereas CNG is very light in property and dissipates easily into the air.
CNG and LPG are slowly and steadily gaining ground in the automobile industry. They surely seem to be the fuel of the future. With the continuous rise in the price of petrol and diesel alternated fuels are becoming the preference of Indian consumers.
CNG/LPG has been used on many commercial vehicles for years and now it is starting to filter down to regular commuter vehicles. CNG enables buses and three vehicles are already doing the rounds in some of the major metropolitans of India and they are soon to touch the roads of the other two tier cities in the country as well due to the alarming environmental damages caused by gasoline
ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Reasons for switching over to this alternate fuel are mainly:
- Economic benefit: The cost of CNG is almost a third of the cost of petrol in terms of calorific value resulting in substantial saving in fuel cost, and investment on the CNG kit is paid back in a short period
- Environment friendly: The use of CNG as a fuel reduces vehicular exhaust emissions significantly. Carbon monoxide emissions are reduced by 70 to 90% and hydrocarbon emissions by 40 to 60% as compared to vehicles that use the conventional fuel - petrol. Carbon dioxide emissions, a cause for global warming, are also reduced significantly by 10%
- Flexibility and ease of use: The basic engine characteristics of a vehicle are retained while converting it to run on cng. The vehicle therefore is capable of running either on petrol or cng at the flick of a switch.
- CNG makes the engine run quieter. Because of the higher octane levels of natural gas, the engine runs quieter resulting to minimized engine noise
- Environmentally Clean Advantage compressed natural gas is the cleanest burning fuel operating today. This means less vehicle maintenance and longer engine life
- Intervals between tune-ups for natural gas vehicles are extended 30,000 to 50,000 miles.
- Intervals between oil changes for natural gas vehicles are dramatically extended--anywhere from 10,000 to 25,000 additional miles depending on how the vehicle is used.
- Natural gas does not react to metals the way gasoline does, so pipes and mufflers last much longer.
- CNG tanks require storage space.
- CNG Filling stations have limited availabililty.
- It produces 15% low power than that of petrol