Ashok Leyland strengthens its CNG portfolio

With the launch of the E-Comet Star ICV (intermediate CV) CNG truck range, Ashok Leyland has entered the CNG CV goods carrier space.

Ashok Leyland reduces losses
*Representational Image

While the commercial vehicle (CV) major Ashok Leyland has been actively operating in the CNG passenger vehicle space for almost two decades (its CNG buses are being run by the Delhi Transport Corporation since 2003), on Tuesday it entered the CNG CV goods carrier space with the launch of the E-Comet Star ICV (intermediate CV) CNG truck range.

The CNG trucks the company launched are available in two gross vehicle weight (GVW) options—16.1-tonne and 14.25-tonne—and three CNG cylinder options (360/480/570 litres). “The maximum driving range is up to 700 km,” Sanjeev Kumar, head, MHCV, Ashok Leyland, told FE. “As the transition towards cleaner mobility solutions is progressing, customers’ needs are also evolving. Our CNG range will strengthen our portfolio, helping us improve our market share in the fast growing CNG space.” As per latest data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), CNG trucks form about 10% of the market (the remaining 90% being diesel); VECV and Tata Motors are the major players in CNG goods carrier space.

“This is just a start,” Kumar said. “By May 2022, we will also launch the 11-tonne CNG truck.”

Auto analysts FE talked to said there has been a surge in demand for CNG goods carriers over the last couple of years, because of two reasons—rising prices of diesel fuel, and a steady increase in the number of CNG outlets (there are about 3,100 CNG outlets in 250-odd cities right now, up from 2,207 at the beginning of FY21—latter data by CARE Ratings).

“CNG trucks have lower total cost of ownership compared to diesel trucks—while the fuel (CNG) is priced far lower than diesel and has more or less similar fuel efficiency, in CNG trucks there is no need to add AdBlue (diesel exhaust fluid that helps diesel engines meet BS6 emission norms),” Kumar said. “CNG trucks also don’t need to pay green tax while entering markets such as Delhi.”

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First published on: 09-02-2022 at 10:16 IST