AHMEDABAD: The demand for CNG vehicles in Gujarat increase because of these two factors: accelerating fuel prices and the change in the Bharat Stage (BS) emission standards after the BS-VI rollout.
According to the data about 15,175 CNG-powered vehicles were registered in Gujarat in 2021 – from January 1 to September 9. That represents a 143% increase against 6,226 CNG vehicles registered over a four-year period from 2017 to 2020.
Regional Transport Office (RTO) attribute the sudden surge to the skyrocketing fuel prices as well as to the ban on converting BS-VI compliant vehicles to run on CNG. Indeed, the sales of company-fitted CNG vehicles have been propelled to unprecedented numbers.
A senior official in the state transport department said that the trend reflected the country’s growing preference for CNG vehicles. The petrol price settled at Rs 98.04 per litre whereas diesel cost Rs 95.49 per litre on Friday in the Ahmedabad market.
Fuel prices have been on the rise since April 15 this year, hitting commuters’ budgets and increasing the cost of ownership of cars.
The RTO has not yet given approval to retrofit CNG kits in BS-VI vehicles. The central government is yet to take a decision on whether to allow retrofitting of CNG kits in BS-VI vehicles,” said a senior official at the Ahmedabad RTO.
This is because CNG-run BS-VI vehicles require a special catalyzer which can only be factory-fitted.
In the absence of the final decision by the Union government, retrofitting of CNG will not be allowed for BS-VI compliant vehicles. The preference for company-fitted CNG vehicles is surging. People travelling about 100km a day tend to veer towards CNG vehicles to save fuel costs.
Jigar Vyas CEO of Ahmedabad based leadership said car demand has overall improved and going by registration numbers of August, we’ve grown past the pre-pandemic levels.At this time, there is a semiconductor shortage and because of that the waiting time for certain CNG-fitted car models is as high as five months.