CNG cars in Mumbai region up 320% in five years

The CNG car population in Mumbai region has gone up by 320 per cent in 5 years and is nearly 8 per cent of the total number of on-road cars, according to data on CNG vehicles provided by Mahanagar Gas Ltd (MGL).

Of the nearly 3.39 million private cars in the Mumbai metropolitan region, nearly 2.6 lakh use CNG. With the government encouraging car owners to use CNG by giving tax concessions to buyers, several citizens prefer to purchase the dual variant-petrol and CNG- specially for hatchbacks. Many have also got CNG kits retrofitted in existing cars for Rs40,000-45,000 per kit.

The primary reason why buyers are going for CNG vehicles was low price and good mileage. The price of petrol is almost two times that of CNG, and so the affordability quotient of CNG is quite high. The price of CNG on Tuesday, 26 September 2017, was Rs41.14 per kg compared with Rs79.52 for a litre of petrol in Mumbai. Moreover, even the mileage of a CNG-driven vehicle is 60-70 per cent more than of a petrol-run car.

Officials from MGL said the rapid growth of CNG-driven cars has resulted in the reduction of over 1,300 kg per day of pollutants. "The metropolitan population is fast realising the importance of converting vehicles to CNG. There's no doubt that CNG is the fuel of the future and if we have to preserve our environment, we need less polluting fuels like CNG and PNG (piped natural gas), which also cost less," said MGL's managing director Rajeev Mathur.

MGL data shows that CNG-run autorickshaws in the region grew by around 60 per cent in five years, compared with 20 per cent growth in CNG taxis. Interestingly, the number of CNG-driven buses has remained the same for five years at 3,341 vehicles.

CNG is lighter than air and hence disperses quickly without any dangerous accumulation. Has a narrow flammability range, making it much safer than other fuels, is 62 per cent economical over petrol. It is also 36 per cent cheaper than diesel and has a higher ignition temperature than other fuels, reducing chances of accidental and spontaneous ignition.

Break up of vehicles using CNG and Year on year data on CNG vehicles and annual growth

Vehicle Segment CNG Vehicle population
31 Oct. 2012 31 Oct. 2013 31 Oct. 2014 31 Oct. 2015 31 Oct. 2016 31 Aug. 2017
Private Cars 61328 105893 149271 183337 219921 257878
Auto Rickshaws 145401 162353 184869 198872 227111 238215
Taxies 52032 57423 57430 57817 59684 61511
Public Buses 3341 3341 3341 3341 3341 3341
  Mar. 2013 Mar. 2014 Mar. 2015 Mar. 2016 Mar. 2017
Total CNG vehicles 290616 359068 421258 470478 545505
Annual growth in no. of CNGvehicles 50701 68452 62190 49220 75027