Domestic car market leader Maruti Suzuki India Ltd on Friday launched factory fitted CNG (compressed natural gas) variants of five of its models — Alto, Estilo, Wagon R, Eeco and SX4 — marking a departure of its earlier strategy where it had chosen LPG (liquified petroleum gas) as the preferred alternate fuel option.
The CNG variants are priced approximately Rs 50,000 to Rs 90,000 more than their non CNG versions, but it is the first time that the kits are being fitted at the factory. The advantages of a factory fitment are they are safer, covered under warranty and suffer minimal power loss.
"CNG offers lower running cost of up to 60 per cent while it ensures lower import of oil and also lower emission levels," said Shinzo Nakanishi, managing director and CEO, MSIL.
Currently there are 9.4 lakh CNG cars in the country with around 600 outlets, where as other countries such as Pakistan has over 3,000 filling stations and around 50 per cent of all vehicles are run on CNG.