Kochi: With the setting up of the Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fuel outlets in the city, there is a high demand from car-owners to install the CNG kits though the private bus industry appear not too eager to shift to the clean fuel. “We’ve nearly 800 work orders pending, mostly car owners, for CNG kit installation from the state. Yesterday alone, we’ve received over 140 enquiries and eight confirmed orders,” said Samuel Ninan, Managing Director, V6 Autotech Solutions Pvt Ltd, which is engaged in CNG kit installation.
The main attraction is the long-term cost saving factor. A majority of car-owners are those running as Uber and Ola taxis. “The monthly fuel expense used to come to nearly Rs 20, 000 when I was using petrol. After I’ve set up the CNG kit, the expense hovers around Rs 7000 to Rs 8000,” said Rahul KG, a car owner and an online cabbie. “We applaud the Kerala Government’s steps in enabling the adoption of cleaner fuels such as CNG, that minimise vehicular pollution. We intend to intensify our efforts for adoption of CNG among Driver partners in Kerala and offer riders smart and sustainable mobility options,” said a Uber spokesperson.
However, the vehicles owners need to invest in the beginning. “The cost of CNG kit installation will differ according to the engine type and technology. While the normal one costs Rs 30, 000 to Rs 50, 000, the hitech ones will cost around Rs 1.5 lakh. However, the operation cost is 62 per cent less compared to petrol and 55 per cent that to diesel,” Ninan said.
However, the private bus industry in Kochi is not too eager about the prospects of the greener fuel, the reason being the high cost of installation. “The conversion to CNG gas will need changes in the engine and the whole process may cost around Rs three to five lakh. Further there is no option for multi-fuel as in cars. We’re not rushing in and will study about the expense and benefit figures in detail,” said K B Suneer, Secretary, Private Bus Owners Federation....