In a move to ensure that compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquified petroleum gas (LPG) kits installed in vehicles are
not of sub-standard quality,the road transport ministry has made it mandatory for both CNG and LPG kit manufacturers to provide warranty or guarantee for its products.
A number of cases of fire in CNG and LPG vehicles are due to low quality kits installed in them. There are also various local such kit manufacturers,who do not care about quality. With this order,we expect only the serious ones to stay in the market and thus ensure good quality kits made available for the vehicles, said a senior road transport ministry official.
The official added that the CNG and LPG kit manufacturers have also agreed to provide warranty for their products. It is a matter of time that these kits,with warranty,hit the market, said the official.
Barring Maruti Suzuki,no other vehicle manufacturer provides a factory-fitted CNG variants of its cars. CNG kits in all other cars are installed outside,which is either at the dealership level or open market,and the manufacturers do not have any control over their quality.
The demand for CNG cars have picked up in the last two years after a rise in petrol prices and people are ready to pay around 20 per cent higher price for CNG vehicles now.
In terms of running costs,a CNG vehicle is the lowest,at Rs 1.61 per km,a third cheaper than the Rs 4.45 for operating a petrol-powered car for a km,and a little over a fifth cheaper than running a diesel vehicle.
However,there are limitations in terms of its availability of CNG fuel. The fuel is currently available in 650 stations across 52 cities in Gujarat,Maharashtra and Delhi and covers about 35 per cent of the automobile market in India.
Compared to CNG,the number of LPG cars are much less and Maruti Suzuki is the only company that manufactures cars with company-fitted LPG kit.