Following the news that Maruti Suzuki India Limited sold more than 157,000 factory-fitted CNG vehicles in FY2020-21, Bakar Sadik Agwan, senior automotive consulting analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view, on the changing Indian car parc.
“Increasing CNG car sales indicate the growing alternative fuel vehicle market in India and is a positive development towards achieving clean mobility in the country,” said Agwan. “It also marks the success of Maruti’s strategic shift to discontinue diesel and focus on CNG vehicles. Maruti presently is the only OEM with wide factory fitted CNG model line-up in the country.
“Soaring fuel prices act as a key demand booster for CNG cars with high uptake particularly in commercial and city commuting applications. The trend is expected to continue in the near-term.
“The implementation of BS VI last year also turned out as a key factor driving CNG growth as the price gap increased substantially between conventional diesel/gasoline and CNG vehicles, making the later preferred choice for many. In addition to low cost per km and other factors, strong and enhanced fuel station network in major cities contributes significantly to increased uptake.
“With several benefits over conventional vehicles, alternate fuel vehicles such as CNG and LNG hold potential in India. However, presently the market is only limited to major cities and there is lack of proper charging stations network in the small suburb and rural areas. OEMs should focus on bringing in new products and establish charging stations to grab the existing opportunity in the market.”