Apart from electric vehicles, CNG was one area that was given significant importance at the 58th SIAM annual convention. The availability of CNG will be enhanced in India in the coming years and that means, you will surely get a big relief from the long queues outside the CNG pumps. At the event, Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum announced that the number of CNG stations in India will be increased to 10,000 by the year 2030. As of April 2018, India had 1424 CNG stations which means the next decade will see the expansion of CNG pumps in the country to almost seven-fold. The Petroleum Minister further added that with CNG being domestic, it will not have any impact on the oil imports. A conventional car consumes an average of 750 litres of petrol every year and hence, each CNG kitted car will save 750 litres of petrol every year.
India currently has a total of 3 million CNG vehicles running on the roads. At present, 82% of CNG stations in India are located in the states of New Delhi, Gujarat and Maharashtra. With the footprint of CNG stations to increase by the year 2030, expect 17 million vehicles in India to run on the said fuel. The use of CNG will benefit the environment to a significant extent as a car fitted with a CNG kit emits 20 to 30 percent lesser CO2 emissions compared to a conventional internal combustion engined car.
Maruti Suzuki India Limited currently has seven CNG vehicles in its portfolio including the Super Carry CNG mini truck and the company has sold a total of 4 lakh CNG cars in India till date. Hyundai is also a part of this CNG race while Ford is expected to join soon. In order to make CNG cars more accessible to the masses, Pradhan has asked the automakers to make more CNG vehicles. He also added that Rs 70,000 crore has been invested in order to make CNG accessible to 300 more districts. Pradhan said that CNG and Ethanol is not a transitional fuel and believes that it will be the future along with EVs.
With the increased number of CNG stations, India's oil dependency will get reduced and Hydrogen cell, biofuel, Ethanol, CNG and electric vehicles will play a crucial role in this.