CNG Sales Boom in India: Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors Lead the Charge

CNG Fever Grips India: Are Petrol and Diesel Cars on Borrowed Time?

The Indian automotive landscape is witnessing a curious trend: a surge in demand for CNG vehicles, particularly in the affordable and mid-range segments. Data from the Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways reveals a staggering 53% year-on-year growth in CNG vehicle registrations for 2023, reaching an impressive 1.8 lakh units. But what’s driving this shift away from traditional petrol and diesel PVs? In this article, we’ll talk about the CNG boom in India and how Tata Motors and Maruti Suzuki are leading the charge in the segment.

What led to this CNG boom in India?

CNG Sales Boom in India: Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors Lead the Charge
Source: V3 Cars

Several factors are fueling the CNG boom. Firstly, fuel efficiency is a major draw. CNG delivers significantly more miles per kilogram compared to petrol or diesel, leading to substantial savings on running costs. While the recent narrowing of the price gap between these fuels hasn’t eliminated the advantage, it remains a significant factor.

Secondly, the environmental benefits of CNG are hard to ignore. Compared to its petrol and diesel counterparts, CNG emits fewer pollutants, contributing to cleaner air, especially in congested urban areas. This aligns with India’s growing focus on sustainable mobility solutions.

Thirdly, the availability of CNG stations has improved in recent years, making it more convenient for CNG vehicle owners. Additionally, the lower overall ownership cost, including attractive warranty periods offered by major brands like Maruti Suzuki and Tata Motors for their factory-fitted CNG models, sweetens the deal.

Maruti Suzuki & Tata Motors leading the change

CNG Sales Boom in India: Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors Lead the Charge
Source: Suzuki

The cost difference between brand-fitted CNG models and aftermarket retrofits has also narrowed significantly, further fueling the trend. Maruti Suzuki, the undisputed leader in this segment, crossed the 10 lakh sales milestone in March 2022 and continues to expand its CNG portfolio. Tata Motors is hot on its heels, having recently launched the industry-first AMT variants of its Tiago and Tigor iCNG models. With the CNG version of the popular Nexon expected soon and rumours of a CNG option for the upcoming Curvv midsize SUV coupe, Tata is betting big on CNG.

Hyundai, too, is a key player with CNG variants of the i10 hatchback, Exter micro-SUV, and Aura compact sedan. Even Toyota and Maruti Suzuki’s joint venture has joined the fray with CNG options for the Grand Vitara and Urban Cruiser Hyryder SUVs.

While the future of petrol and diesel vehicles remains uncertain, the rising popularity of CNG presents a significant challenge. Its affordability, environmental friendliness, and growing infrastructure network make it a compelling choice for many Indian car buyers. The auto industry must adapt and innovate to address this evolving trend, as the race for clean and efficient mobility gains momentum.

Also read: JLR-Tata Alliance Plans Massive EV Manufacturing Facility In India

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