CNG, Electric and Hybrid Cars – Alternate Fuel Types in Cars
Automobile engineers have been developing vehicles to run on alternate forms of fuel for the last two centuries. Traditionally running on diesel and petrol as fuel, cars have been evolving not only in design but also internally. Fossil fuels have risen up in terms of price and demand all over the world. They are also the cause of major concern of pollution of the world’s atmosphere which is one of the major reasons why people are drifting towards the other forms of fuel for their vehicles.
Car manufacturers are now promoting their electric vehicles so as to reduce their carbon footprints and to tow the guidelines set by various national governments. Countries like India are still in the very beginning stage of incorporating more electric-powered vehicles on their roads. This is another reason the hybrid and CNG vehicles gaining more popularity in the last couple of years.
Our article will ensure you understand what these alternate fuels are and the differences between them. Why should you choose one and not the other? Read this article fully to know about CNG, Hybrid and Electric cars and which one would suit your needs and budget.
CNG is compressed natural gas and an environmentally cleaner fuel option for your cars. Most brands offer CNG as an option with their models either directly from the factory or as an additional add-on kit after it reaches the market.
In India CNG vehicles have been popular for quite some time now. But the last year has seen a tremendous increase in the sales of CNG-powered cars. 2021 annual sales reports showed a 56 per cent higher sales with 1,36,357 units sold in total.
Pros of CNG
CNG vehicles not only reduce your dependency on fossil fuels but also generate a much lower running cost comparatively.
The other advantage of CNG vehicles is that it costs almost half that of the current petrol and diesel rates.
CNG versions also cost much less than the petrol or diesel variants of any model.
CNG-based cars do not solely depend on the gas to run. So there is no fear of getting stranded in the middle of nowhere when you run out of gas. You can switch it to an alternate fuel option until you can reach a CNG fuel station.
These cars are environmental-friendly as they emit lower tailpipe emissions which means a lot less air pollution.
The fuel economy of CNG cars is much greater than that of petrol or diesel-driven vehicles.
|Models||Claimed Fuel Economy|
|Tata Tiago||23.84 kmpl||26.49 km/kg|
|Tata Tigor||21 kmpl||26.49 km/kg|
|Maruti Suzuki Celerio||26.68 kmpl||35.6 km/kg|
|Maruti Suzuki Wagon R||25.19 kmpl||34.05 km/kg|
Top 10 most fuel-efficient CNG cars in India in 2022
- Maruti Suzuki Celerio CNG
- Maruti Suzuki Wagon R CNG
- Maruti Suzuki Alto CNG
- Maruti Suzuki S-Presso CNG
- Hyundai Santro CNG
- Maruti Suzuki Dzire CNG
- Hyundai Grand i10 Nios CNG
- Hyundai Aura CNG
- Tata Tiago CNG
- Tata Tigor CNG
Cons of CNG
There are some disadvantages to a CNG-powered car. The first one is that we still don’t have many CNG fuel stations across our country. You will have to depend on your fossil fuel to reach your destination if you are on a long drive.
CNG affects your vehicle’s performance over time, unlike petrol or diesel. It is almost impossible to prevent the 10 per cent decrease in the power output of your car’s engine.
Lastly but the most problematic practically is the loss of your boot space. Usually, when a CNG kit is fitted onto your car, it is done in the boot which leads to compromising on space to load heavy luggage.
The most recent popular sector in the automobile industry and an undoubtedly fast-growing sector is the electric vehicle sector. Indian market may not have caught up to other leading nations in the widespread use of EVs but we are definitely catching up. Major brands like Tata Motors are ready with a lineup of new electric models to be launched in the next few years.
Pros of Electric Vehicles
Unlike CNG, electric vehicles run on pure electricity. They do not rely on fossil fuels at all which means there is zero emission from these vehicles. Hence they are 100 per cent environmental-friendly.
To promote this sector, a number of state governments have come forward announcing tax deductions and other incentives for electric cars. This has caused a significant per cent of the consumer population to convert to electric cars.
Electric vehicles cost even lesser to run than CNG-powered vehicles. In fact, these are the cheapest of all forms of fuels available in terms of running cost.
They also require almost next to zero maintenance removing the maintenance cost out of consideration as well.
Top 10 Electric Cars in India in 2022
- Tata Nexon EV
- Tata Tigor EV
- Hyundai Kona electric
- MG ZS EV
- Mercedes-Benz EQC
- BMW iX
- Audi e-Tron
- Jaguar I-Pace
- Porsche Taycan
- Audi e-Tron GT
Cons of Electric Vehicles
The major strike against electric cars in India currently is their price tag. For most of the consumers who want to switch to electric vehicles, this remains a big hurdle to cross. The bigger batteries cost much more here and make their ICE counterparts look attractive in comparison.
There are also very minimal choices in electric models in India at the moment. Although, this will definitely change in the next 2-3 years as more and more manufacturers are looking to enter the Indian electric vehicle market with their own models.
Another practical challenge in owning an electric car in India in 2022 is the lack of infrastructure. If you think CNG stations are far and few in between, you will find electric power stations next to nil in India. Long-range drives in electric cars are only a dream at this point.
Forget long-range drives, unless you are in one of the major metropolitan cities, you will not find more than a handful of electric power stations in most places.
Hybrid vehicles came about in the late 1800s as the integration of electric power into fossil fuel-powered vehicles. When they run they draw power out of an internal combustion engine along with a battery pack that generates electric power. You could call these the predecessors of the purely electric vehicles that we have today.
Pros of Hybrid Vehicles
Reduced emissions are a definite pro on its side. With the addition of batteries for electric power, fossil fuel emissions reduce significantly.
They are comparatively less dependent on fossil fuels.
Petrol engines in hybrid cars are smaller than their ICE counterparts.
Regenerative braking in hybrid cars eliminates the necessity for charging the battery pack. Every time you step on the brakes, the electricity generated is used to recharge the batteries.
Top 10 Hybrid Vehicles in India in 2022
- MG Hector Plus
- Toyota Camry
- Honda City
- Volvo XC90
- BMW 7-series
- Volvo XC60
- Maruti Suzuki Baleno
- Lexus LC
- Toyota Prius
- Toyota Glanza
Cons of Hybrid Vehicles
Hybrid cars are pretty expensive.
Performance lags behind as the main aim of this concept was to increase fuel efficiency and range.
With dual motors powering the vehicle, there are a lot more parts included in their builds. This leads to a higher maintenance requirement on a regular basis.