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Old 4th August 2009, 17:29   #31
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Default Not really

While I've never owned a full electric, I have owned/ substantially driven LPG, CNG, Full Hybrid and Petrol Diesel cars

There is no one answer for the generic questions asked here.

CNG: Future fuel for India and the developing world the ONLY fuel produced domestically in India. This means:
  1. No importing fuel/ paying the oil producing countries
  2. Drastically lower pollution levels, especially CO, Particulate and NOx emissions. CO2 emission reductions of around 15-20% vs. a Petrol engine.
  3. Cost savings of around 30% compared to an equivalent diesel and 65% less than an equivalent petrol engine
  4. Power loss of around 15-% on a well installed, well designed kit.
  5. Additional maintainance is a myth. CNG cars needs good airflow and good spark. So buy a K&N air filter and change spark plugs every 12,000 kms and you will never have problems. You will need to drive on Petrol once in a while for a few kms though to keep fuel system lubricated.
  6. Range of 100km (city)/ 150 km (highway) driving prior to refilling the tank
  7. Long lines etc. are baggage from 5 years ago. Today, it's as easy to fill CNG as it is Petrol/ Diesel
My Chevy Optra 1.6L has the Official General Motors CNG kits installed by GM engineers. This one mod has transformed the car from a guzzler to a very low cost city comfort car. Fuel efficiency was 8.5 kmpl to a liter of petrol at best. Now its 12 km/ kg of CNG.

LPG: Not the best fuel option in any regard but better than Petrol in terms of cost savings. Less particulate emissions and NOx emissions than diesel but more CO and CO2 emissions.
  1. Imported Fuel. Prices range from low during summer months to higher during winter months when the cold countries need it to heat their homes
  2. Drop in fuel efficiency of around 20%
  3. Lower cost than Petrol and Diesel offsets the lower fuel efficiency to some degree
  4. Slightly lower emissions vs. Petrol but not as clean as latest common rail diesels/ CNG/ Electric. Not a green fuel!
  5. Slight powerloss of around 10%
  6. Sequential injection kits are the best - go for the Mitsubishi Lancer and the new Chevy Spark as they are pretty good factory installed kits. I'd always recommend Factory installed LPG kits only.
  7. Range -150 kms (city)/ 230 kms (highway) for the typical LPG tank
ELECTRIC: Long term future fuel for the West and developed nations. By far the most City Friendly and environmentally friendly fuel available.
  1. Extremely low maintainance as long as not exposed to extreme heat, cold or to water.
  2. Battery technology is shifting to Lithium based technologies. No more Lead Acid or Nickel Metal Hydride. This is still atleast a year from breaking into the mass market
  3. No pollution whatsoever if power is dereived from Hydro, Wind, Nuclear or Solar/ Solar Thermal sources.
  4. 40-60% less polluting even if power dereived from Coal
  5. Instant Torque avaible throughout the rev range = great performance
  6. No cars available other than Reva in India. New Reva holds promise
  7. Internationally, the Chevy Volt, Mitsubishi MiEV, Smart EV and Subaru R1e will lead the charge alongwith smaller offerings like the Reva. Hybrids like the Toyota Prius, Honda Insight, Ford Fusion Hybrid and Civic Hybrid will continue to expand their footing in the short to medium term.
  8. Range: 100 kms per charge on upcoming Li-on battery powered EVs
I won't comment on the latest Diesel and Petrol engines here. Innovations like Common Rail direct injection aka Multijet, Fiat's new Multi Air injection, Direct injection, friction reduction technologies etc. have drastically improved the Spark Combustion Engine (Petrol) and the Compression Ignition Engine (Diesel). But these are obsolete technologies that are attempting to extend their respective lifespans.

In my humble opinion, the future lies in harnessing the power of the sun, the wind, the flow of water and the atom. Not in digging up the earth and exploding it under our bonnets. That future will never come as long as we stick to convention.

Last edited by Screwdriva : 4th August 2009 at 17:38.
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Old 5th August 2009, 06:10   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Screwdriva View Post
In my humble opinion, the future lies in harnessing the power of the sun, the wind, the flow of water and the atom. Not in digging up the earth and exploding it under our bonnets. That future will never come as long as we stick to convention.
Dear screwdriv
I fully agree with whatever you have said. Your analysis of CNG/LPG/Electric /Diesel may not be 100% correct.
However, what you are looking at in above post is also very much outdated, presently there is sufficient tecnology to harness these powers (power of the sun, the wind, the flow of water and the atom) but there are technical limitation here too similar to the petrol/diesel engines and hence rendering them presently not very pragmatic in automobiles.

But the fuel cell technology is giving good result and already being successfully deployed. Now only the cost part remains to be tamed.

cheers

Last edited by sanagg1 : 5th August 2009 at 06:13.
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Old 5th August 2009, 14:54   #33
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Default Future Fuels

I am skeptical about Fuel Cells as a technology in the West. Problems with cost are preventing FC cars from being sold to the average buyers. At best, you can lease the BMW Hydrogen 7 Series or the Honda FCX Clarity. The rest remain as prototypes.

I do not see Fuel Cells ever being sold in a market like India. Not for the next two decades atleast. Indians are just too sensitive to cost and will quickly turn away from a technology that doesn't save them money either upfront or over the term of ownership.

That's why I think that the next decade will see a rise in CNG vehicles in India. The decade that follows should see India's Electric vehicle market catch up to the West.
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Old 5th August 2009, 15:09   #34
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Originally Posted by Screwdriva View Post
I do not see Fuel Cells ever being sold in a market like India. Not for the next two decades atleast. Indians are just too sensitive to cost and will quickly turn away from a technology that doesn't save them money either upfront or over the term of ownership.
So very True
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Originally Posted by Screwdriva View Post
In my humble opinion, the future lies in harnessing the power of the sun, the wind, the flow of water and the atom. Not in digging up the earth and exploding it under our bonnets. That future will never come as long as we stick to convention.
What time frame do we see here ? five decades ?
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Old 31st March 2010, 11:06   #35
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Seeing how CRDI has evolved, I am sure if a CNG Specific or LPG specific car is launched, It would work. Manufacturers need to put their money in R&D for dedicated enginge. I am sure the running costs will be much lower and the running range higher since we dont pay for Gasoline engines in the car and neither for the weight and space.

I was just contemplating over a cng car for my friend and hence remembered this topicf.

How are the new Sequential CNG kits in performance? Are there LPG kits in comparison too?

PS: does the compression or other characteristic of a gasoline engine make a difference in the efficient utilization of CNG or LPG?

Last edited by devarshi84 : 31st March 2010 at 11:16.
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Old 31st March 2010, 11:30   #36
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I may be going off the topic. I think the best possible "CAR" which is non polluting and giving high fuel efficiecny will be a CART DRIVEN BY HORSE or a BULLOCK.!!!!!!!!
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Old 31st March 2010, 11:40   #37
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Originally Posted by devarshi84 View Post
Seeing how CRDI has evolved, I am sure if a CNG Specific or LPG specific car is launched, It would work. Manufacturers need to put their money in R&D for dedicated enginge. I am sure the running costs will be much lower and the running range higher since we dont pay for Gasoline engines in the car and neither for the weight and space.

I was just contemplating over a cng car for my friend and hence remembered this topicf.

How are the new Sequential CNG kits in performance? Are there LPG kits in comparison too?
Sequential CNG kits are at par when compared to petrols and very much successfully running in high end cars no-a-days. Toyota offers Sequential Kits in Innova is one of the major re-known turn-around for the same. Looking at the success of CNG thingy, Toyota is about to Launch Company fitted Altis very soon.

We can judge the chunk of market which are about to adopt the cheaper fuel by toyota's decision, I wish if Availability of CNG can be smoothed and can be available Pan-India.

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Originally Posted by 1968chensaro View Post
I may be going off the topic. I think the best possible "CAR" which is non polluting and giving high fuel efficiecny will be a CART DRIVEN BY HORSE or a BULLOCK.!!!!!!!!
May be you are going too fast, One should be adopt Flin-stone's car rather than polluting roads with Horse's and Bullock's waste
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Old 31st March 2010, 13:47   #38
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I have no idea about electric n diesel cars, but have a good idea about cng Baleno (currently have it), zen lpg (now sold) and maruti 800 petrol.
I think the future fuel of vehicles in India is cng, the number of vehicles on cng are increasing daily as per the attendant @ cng pump.
CNG: As said by Screwdriva cng has good cost savings (with 4 people on board I can do a return trip to Lonavala / igatpuri for the fuel cost of Rs. 180. travelling cost has gone down considerably but mobile roaming bills increased), till today no major maintenance costs due to cng. The only issue is the travel range resulting in almost daily refueling. I have done few changes to the TAP system and as a result the power on cng is available right from 1800 to 4000 rpms, better than petrol as the pull on petrol is felt only after 2000 rpms, there is added smoothness while driving on cng.
Had a bad experience with lpg due to bad aftermarket fitment. though company fitted lpg cars are better, the best among them is the spark lpg. But it does not have considerable savings and one would have to drive the much more kms to recover the additional cost of lpg kit. Moreover the price of lpg keep fluctuating and @ present it retails @ 34 in mumbai, almost equal to diesel, so its no point wasting the boot space for such a minuscule savings, better to drive a only petrol car.
just had a TD of ford Figo diesel and it is my next car.
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Old 31st March 2010, 21:05   #39
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Originally Posted by ashthedivx View Post
Sequential CNG kits are at par when compared to petrols and very much successfully running in high end cars no-a-days. Toyota offers Sequential Kits in Innova is one of the major re-known turn-around for the same. Looking at the success of CNG thingy, Toyota is about to Launch Company fitted Altis very soon.

We can judge the chunk of market which are about to adopt the cheaper fuel by toyota's decision, I wish if Availability of CNG can be smoothed and can be available Pan-India.
does the compression or other characteristic of a gasoline engine make a difference in the efficient utilization of CNG or LPG?
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Old 1st April 2010, 11:59   #40
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Originally Posted by devarshi84 View Post
does the compression or other characteristic of a gasoline engine make a difference in the efficient utilization of CNG or LPG?
Yes, Compression do matter for sure.. however, it is always recommended to have a compression check before you shift to CNG in car >5 year of age.
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Old 9th May 2010, 10:32   #41
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I sat down to do the calculations of the cost of running a car on gas. Here is what I found.

WagonR needs 92Kms to cover the cost of owning a LPG over petrol
Spark needs 84Kms to cover the cost of owning LPG over petrol
Accent LPG needs 291000 kms.
Maruti 800 needs 29000 kms.

I based the figures as an approximation on ARAI figures. AM I missing something here or does cng and lpg not make sense yet due to lack of efficiency?

Last edited by devarshi84 : 9th May 2010 at 10:33.
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Old 9th May 2010, 10:52   #42
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Originally Posted by devarshi84 View Post
I sat down to do the calculations of the cost of running a car on gas. Here is what I found.

WagonR needs 92Kms to cover the cost of owning a LPG over petrol
Spark needs 84Kms to cover the cost of owning LPG over petrol
Accent LPG needs 291000 kms.
Maruti 800 needs 29000 kms.

I based the figures as an approximation on ARAI figures. AM I missing something here or does cng and lpg not make sense yet due to lack of efficiency?
Can you be a bit elaborate with your research like What is "cost of owing LPG", At what ODO do you assume the LPG is installed?
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Old 9th May 2010, 19:44   #43
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I opted for the company installed cars at ex-showroom prices. I used the ARAI mileage to come up with cost per km and then calculated the mileage one needs to cover.

for eg.

WagonR LPG ARAI fuel efficiency- 13.1 kmpl Ex-showroom- 3,50,366
WagonR Petrol ARAI fuel efficiency- 18.9 kmpl Ex-Showroom- 3,38,699
price difference- 11,667
To cover the extra price difference and the lower fuel efficiency you need to drive the car for 92000 kilometers.

Chevrolet Spark petrol ARAI fuel efficiency- 17.03 kmpl ex-showroom- 3,17,715
Chevrolet Spark LPG ARAI fuel efficiency- 13.15 kmpl ex-showroom- 354.531
price difference- 36816
To cover the extra premium and lower fuel efficiency on LPG you will have to drive the car for 84000 kilometers.
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Old 15th May 2014, 20:50   #44
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Default Re: CNG vs. LPG VS. Petrol vs. Diesel vs. Electric

After recently jumping on the CNG bandwagon i have observed a few drawbacks.

1-Range for CNG car is around 110 Kms per fill.
2- Frequent trips to the Gas station.
3-Something i was not aware of, passengers are not allowed inside the vehicle while filling up CNG. My dad was asked to get down before my car was being filled with gas. What if entire family is on-board it doesn't seem right to ask them to get down but i guess it's for safety purpose.It's best to get the car filled up before a drive if family is to be ferried around rather than make them get down at the fuel station.
4-Minor jerks here and there.
5-Some power lose is evident only when driving up a hill etc. On a regular road with a good kit power loss is almost non-existent.
6-Maybe my personal experience but i have found the CNG attendants to be a i bit impolite than the petrol/diesel attendants.Cheap fuel doesn't warrant much respect does it.

Apart from these i find CNG to be a excellent choice for a city commute and shorter driving distances.For longer ranges i would advice people to go for diesel's leaving the CNG option for people like me who 'Choose' to live with gas guzzler's like the Honda Civic :-)
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Old 17th May 2014, 12:28   #45
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Default Re: CNG vs. LPG VS. Petrol vs. Diesel vs. Electric

Recently I fit my Alto with BRC Sequential LPG kit. For a thousand rupees of fill, I got approximately 250kms which is Rs.4 per km. In city traffic condition, petrol returns me Rs.5.3 per km. Now, with my monthly drive being about 1200km, I would be saving 1560 which would mean I would recover my investment in about 2 years. It looks fine in city traffic conditions.
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