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View Poll Results: Would you buy a CNG car for personal usage in 2024?
Yes 59 18.55%
No 259 81.45%
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Old 22nd June 2024, 10:25   #1
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Pros & Cons of CNG cars in 2024 | Would you buy one for personal usage?

Weíre currently in an interesting phase when it comes to fuels. Thanks to the governmentís ever-changing policies and focus on different fuels, even manufacturers are a bit confused about where to put their resources. Hybrids are also becoming a popular choice given the introduction of some affordable models. Electric vehicles have become mainstream and diesels are getting sidelined. In all this chaos, some people are turning towards CNG as a replacement for diesel engines.

Pros & Cons of CNG cars in 2024 | Would you buy one for personal usage?-2023tataaltrozcng19.jpg

Take Maruti for example. Given that they donít have a diesel engine anymore in their portfolio, they have focused heavily on CNG. In fact, 12 out of the 17 Maruti models are offered with a CNG option. In recent years, even Tata has focused on CNG cars. They are offering twin storage tanks for CNG and even an AMT option. The point is that with so many options coming to the market, does it make sense for private buyers to get a CNG car in 2024? Here are some of the factors worth considering.

Cost of CNG



One of the major reasons to opt for a CNG car is that it's cheaper than petrol. While the difference in the price of petrol and CNG was a lot back in the day, it isn't much anymore. Moreover, the CNG prices are different depending on where you live. Let's take a look at the prices for this month. In Delhi and NCR, the cost of CNG is Rs. 74.09 per kg and in Hyderabad, a kg of CNG would cost you Rs. 90. Even within a state, there is a lot of fluctuation. The cost of CNG in Mumbai is Rs. 73.50 per kg, while in Pune, it is Rs. 89 per kg. Thatís a massive delta! So, depending on the area where you live, CNG can be either affordable or expensive. Click here for CNG prices across India.

Pros & Cons of CNG cars in 2024 | Would you buy one for personal usage?-pump-cost.jpg

Range



The real-world range of CNG cars depends on the amount of gas present in the tank and the pressure. Given that real-world conditions arenít optimal, the approximate range you will get from a full tank of CNG is roughly 200 km. The good thing is that you still have your petrol tank after you use up all the CNG. Even so, thatís a short CNG-only range.

Running Costs



From the above two points, the third obvious thing to consider is the cost of running a CNG car. As mentioned earlier, depending on where you are, CNG can be affordable or expensive. Letís consider driving a Maruti Baleno CNG in Mumbai. It has a 55L tank (water equivalent) which means that it can hold roughly 9-10 kg of gas. A full tank would cost Rs. 735. Marutiís claimed fuel efficiency for CNG is 30.6 km/kg. Now if the car is being run only on the highways, this number is achievable, but realistically, we can consider 25 km/kg (with primary highway running). The full tank range in that case would be roughly 250 km (for Rs. 735). So, if you calculate the cost per km for running a Baleno CNG in Mumbai would be ~ Rs. 3 per km. Running the same car in Hyderabad would cost Rs. 3.6 per km. This might seem like a small difference, but in the long run, it would add up to a considerable amount.

Pros & Cons of CNG cars in 2024 | Would you buy one for personal usage?-running-cost.jpg

Comparison with Petrol



Now, further to the previous point, does it make sense to go for a CNG car instead of a petrol car? I get that most of you might be thinking that Rs. 3 per km is a good number. But consider this for a second - if you calculate the running cost for a Maruti Baleno petrol-only version in Mumbai, that would be around Rs. 5 per km (cost of petrol = Rs. 104.21 as of June 20, 2024).

A Maruti Baleno Zeta Petrol costs Rs. 9.81 lakh (on-road, Mumbai) and the CNG variant costs Rs. 10.44 lakh (on-road, Mumbai). The difference is roughly Rs. 63,000. So it would take roughly 31,500 km of driving to make up that difference. Which is fair enough. If your running is high, youíll cover it up quickly and the other way around. But apart from this, there are some other factors also worth considering.

Maintenance costs



It is a well-known fact that the maintenance cost for CNG cars is higher than petrol cars. You need to follow the service manual to the T. In comparison, the maintenance of petrol cars is much more straightforward and forgiving. Here are some of the points you need to consider in terms of maintenance of a CNG car -

1. Air filter and spark plugs need to be replaced more frequently.

2. CNG-specific filters also need to be replaced regularly (Related Thread).

3. CNG Cylinder needs to get hydro-tested once every 3 years. This is a process to check the cylinders for leaks, structural flaws, durability and corrosion.

4. Even when a CNG car is out of warranty, you cannot give it to any neighbourhood garage. For any CNG-related issue, you need to take your car to either an authorized service centre or CNG-specific garages.

Pros & Cons of CNG cars in 2024 | Would you buy one for personal usage?-filter-maintenance.jpg

Boot Space



The CNG tank in the boot seriously hampers the luggage-carrying capacity of the car. The tank is big and youíre left with barely any room for carrying bags or any other luggage. This might be a deal breaker for people who travel with luggage over long distances. Tata has come up with the twin-cylinder tank solution to free up some space in the boot. In all honesty, it is a good solution, but the boot space is still much less than the regular petrol version.

Pros & Cons of CNG cars in 2024 | Would you buy one for personal usage?-boot-space.jpg

Other Factors



Apart from the abovementioned factors, some other issues may not be as big to influence a buying decision but still affect the day-to-day life with a CNG car.

1. Emissions in CNG cars are lower in comparison with petrol cars.

2. CNG cars have a higher insurance premium as you have to buy an add-on.

3. Road tax on CNG cars is lower than petrol cars.

4. Depending on where you stay, you need to consider the availability of CNG. In Mumbai, you might have to queue up to fill CNG in some areas.

5. Getting out of the CNG car while refuelling might be of inconvenience if you have elderly people travelling with you.

6. Due to the added weight at the back, the suspension setup is on the firmer side.

Pros & Cons of CNG cars in 2024 | Would you buy one for personal usage?-2022tatatiagocng23.jpg

In the end, there are two ways to look at this.

A. You buy a CNG car to enjoy the lower cost of fuel but live with the other drawbacks of owning a CNG car.

B. You buy a regular petrol car and pay for the higher cost of fuel, but donít have to worry much about anything else.

Do share your thoughts on the same and would you pick a CNG car over a regular petrol car for private use in 2024?
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Old 22nd June 2024, 10:29   #2
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Re: Pros & Cons of CNG cars in 2024 | Would you buy one for personal usage?

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Old 22nd June 2024, 11:29   #3
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Re: Pros & Cons of CNG cars in 2024 | Would you buy one for personal usage?

Why bother with gas when competent EVs are available for similar price? CNG can’t come close to the running cost of electric and there is absolutely no comparison with regards to power, performance, refinement, smoothness and effortless drive. Average range is similar for a full tank of gas and a full charge of battery. Why stand in queues for long when you can charge the car at home while you sleep?
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Old 22nd June 2024, 12:01   #4
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Re: Pros & Cons of CNG cars in 2024 | Would you buy one for personal usage?

I have just bought a Tata Tigor CNG AMT. Already have I10 Nios CNG and Tiago EV LR in my garage.
I don't feel comfortable yet in taking EV for interstate trips hence the decision to bring in Tigor but my highway usage is hardly 2% of my overall running as well.

CNG coverage in Delhi is great and getting it filled is equivalent to petrol waiting times for me. The cost to run is half of a petrol car and the maintenance cost has been equivalent as well to petrol atleast in my Nios. Suspension is also well done on factory fitted models.

CNG makes great sense in cities where petrol gives abysmal fuel efficiency and even in 2024 if you need more range than what electric cars provide today, CNG is the only alternative due to diesel ban in Delhi.

I only consider strong hybrids/CNG/EVs automatics while buying now. I like to think of them as those expensive HP printers like laserjets vs buying petrol models which are like inkjets, cheaper to acquire but costly to run in the long term.

Last edited by VaibhavShatna95 : 22nd June 2024 at 12:04.
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Old 22nd June 2024, 13:35   #5
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Re: Pros & Cons of CNG cars in 2024 | Would you buy one for personal usage?

Voted yes since I bought a Hyryder G CNG on June 28, 2023. It has already driven 39,4xx km in just shy of a year. More than 95% of this distance has been driven on CNG. We considered the strong hybrid Hyryder, but the waiting period was too long, and given that we mostly drive on highways, it wouldnít have been of much use.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omkar View Post
Given that real-world conditions arenít optimal, the approximate range you will get from a full tank of CNG is roughly 200 km.
My Hyryder returns a range of 130Ė175 km, depending on the traffic conditions. 175 km were on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway drive, while 130 km were in mixed conditions (City, 2 Lane Highway).
Quote:
Letís consider driving a Maruti Baleno CNG in Mumbai. It has a 55L tank (water equivalent) which means that it can hold roughly 9-10 kg of gas. A full tank would cost Rs. 735.
I have the same tank in the Hyryder, and the maximum it could hold was 7.7 kg, i.e., ~ ₹570 for a full tank (₹74/kg).
Quote:
1. Air filter and spark plugs need to be replaced more frequently.
I agree about spark plugs, but donít we all replace air filters every 10,000 km (or as per the recommended maintenance interval)? CNG spark plugs need to be replaced at 50,000 km, while petrol spark plugs need to be replaced at 1,00,000 km.
Pros & Cons of CNG cars in 2024 | Would you buy one for personal usage?-img_8135.jpeg
Quote:
2. CNG-specific filters also need to be replaced regularly (Related Thread).
I have been following this. Have been replacing the filter every 20,000 km. The charcoal canister filter costs ~ ₹1500.

Pros & Cons of CNG cars in 2024 | Would you buy one for personal usage?-img_7128.jpeg

Pros & Cons of CNG cars in 2024 | Would you buy one for personal usage?-img_8133.jpeg
Quote:
The CNG tank in the boot seriously hampers the luggage-carrying capacity of the car. This might be a deal breaker for people who travel with luggage over long distances.
Totally agree on this part. Had the luxury of travelling with unlimited luggage in Innova, and now I have to make sure to pack only what is needed.
Quote:
4. Depending on where you stay, you need to consider the availability of CNG. In Mumbai, you might have to queue up to fill CNG in some areas.
The key here is to find CNG pumps nearby that have 4 or more dispensers. This makes sure that you are not stuck for long. You can be out in 5 mins or be there for 15 mins at times!
Quote:
5. Getting out of the CNG car while refuelling might be of inconvenience if you have elderly people travelling with you.
My dad primarily is the sole occupant, and at times there are other people too. I have advised him to always tell everyone to get outside the car while refuelling!
Quote:
A. You buy a CNG car to enjoy the lower cost of fuel but live with the other drawbacks of owning a CNG car.
I recall the first 1000 km. My dad kept asking me if we made the wrong decision because it was still running in and it hardly gave 100 km range! One year later, he has stopped complaining and loves it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shreyans_Jain View Post
Why bother with gas when competent EVs are available for similar price? Why stand in queues for long when you can charge the car at home while you sleep?
If your commute is the same, then this is the best option. I had considered the Nexon EV, but my commute varies a lot as per meetings. 40% of the of the time, my car is in rural areas where there is an electricity shortage during the summer. You really canít sleep either because of the heat, let alone charge your car.
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Old 22nd June 2024, 14:31   #6
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Re: Pros & Cons of CNG cars in 2024 | Would you buy one for personal usage?

There was a time when CNG was a viable option.However, nowadays the price difference between Petrol and CNG is no longer what it used to be to warrant a CNG vehicle purchase. The advent of EV's have made sure more and more people switch to EV's instead of owning CNG run vehicle.

Some of my observations:

(1) The air filter replacement frequency is the same as petrol vehicle however, spark plug replacement is albeit frequent compared to a petrol vehicle.

(2) In NCR and the states in the vicinity where in summer's the temperatures regularly cross 40 celsius, a CNG vehicle feels like its gasping for air, coupled with AC on and in a bumper to bumper traffic for prolonged period and you have cases of vehicles breaking down due to overheating.

(3) The following holds true since the day CNG was brought in:
CNG is a dry fuel in its essence and therefore when compared to Petrol which is liquid offers no lubrication inside the combustion chamber. Which also means that small amount of lubrication which is taken for granted in a petrol run vehicle is no longer there in a CNG vehicle as a consequence of which the onus falls on the engine oil. No wonder, CNG owned vehicles required oil change as per manual and should be followed to the T.

(4) A strict comparison with an EV vehicle, offers the owner of an EV an advantage of charging the car at home and for CNG one has to stay in the queue for filling up gas.

(5) A CNG tank eats space in the trunk while for EV and petrol equivalent vehicles there is no such disadvantage.

(6) I have driven a CNG equipped swift in a bumper to bumper traffic and a petrol variant of the same. The CNG one, seems reluctant to advance from stop to go, and additional clutch attenuation is required to get the car moving, when strictly compared to a petrol. One can overcome this if an AT is used, however, strictly from Cab drivers perspective its a pain.
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Old 23rd June 2024, 10:52   #7
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Re: Pros & Cons of CNG cars in 2024 | Would you buy one for personal usage?

Voted yes. While both my cars are turbo petrols and without CNG, for someone with high running CNG definitely makes more sense. Primarily because of two reasons -

Absence of affordable hybrids. Maruti might change this in 2025.
Absence of reliable and niggle free affordable EVs (read non Tata EVs). A Tiago ev competitor from Honda , Maruti, Toyota, Hyundai/Kia will sell in massive numbers. People in this forum underestimate the impact of reliability and niggle free nature of cars have on the laymen. A low cost EV from either of these manufacturers would be my first option to replace one of my turbo petrols (Sonet).
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Old 23rd June 2024, 11:19   #8
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Re: Pros & Cons of CNG cars in 2024 | Would you buy one for personal usage?

Voted No. Never have, never will.

Reasons - significantly reduces boot space, limited range, long queues at CNG stations, limited availability outside metros and so on.
If the idea is to reduce fuel costs, you have options like hybrids and EVs.
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Old 23rd June 2024, 11:49   #9
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Re: Pros & Cons of CNG cars in 2024 | Would you buy one for personal usage?

Voted yes, as till the time purchase price economics is not equivalent/10% upwards to ICE cars there will be difficulty adopting ev/hybrids on mass levels. I put up in Delhi & my commute is 70km daily from Delhi to Gurgaon of which half portion is bumper to bumper.

Being very apprehensive, recently bought Brezza cng for 10.50 Lacs OTR and I must tell you the only time you feel lag is between 80-100 kmph also that being said CNG cars can be used as second vehicle since boot is gone for the family trips.

There is no/insignificant lag at all driving in between 0-80 kmph. Also in Delhi/NCR there is no issue of availability of cng pumps and queues. Got my first checkup/service yesterday met lot of fronx/baleno/grand vitara CNG owners at the service station. They all were very contended.

I'm not saying that cng cars are for enthusiast but for those who are looking for capital as well running cost effective, it's still a good option, yes even in 2024.

That being said, MSIL has pioneered in this technology for our use case, can't comment on Hyundai's.
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Old 23rd June 2024, 12:18   #10
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Re: Pros & Cons of CNG cars in 2024 | Would you buy one for personal usage?

Voted NO. Always been a fanboy of ICE and will be so till they are phased out completely. I have used CNG in the past & the let down was :

a. Time taken to get a refill (Sometimes it would be in excess of 1 Hr)
b. Availability of CNG stations (May have increased over the last decade)
c. Drive comfort as compared to ICE
d. Boot space consumption of the cylinder
e. Maintenance & FNG serviceability
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Old 23rd June 2024, 12:35   #11
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Re: Pros & Cons of CNG cars in 2024 | Would you buy one for personal usage?

As a fleet owner, all my commercial cars are cng which run close to 1 lakh km a year or more. However when it came to buy a personal car, I went with Ignis. I did 20k km in 6.5 months and am expected to do close to 35k+ km in the first year of ownership.

Interestingly, I’m also considering a petrol taxi as my next purchase especially for routes with less cng pumps or airport duties.

If I were using the car for predictable trips (home - office, etc.) I would rather pickup an EV.
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Old 23rd June 2024, 13:02   #12
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Re: Pros & Cons of CNG cars in 2024 | Would you buy one for personal usage?

I voted No.

I am just unable to stand the smell of CNG. It might be a unique reason, but it is what it is. I need to always wear a mask or cover my face with a kerchief when I sit in cabs that run on CNG.

If you add the negation of boot space, the paucity of CNG filling stations and the huge queues at the ones who do have CNG - im not touching CNG cars at all.

If not petrol (all my current and past cars), then it's an EV for me. No in-betweens, thank you very much.
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Old 23rd June 2024, 13:16   #13
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Re: Pros & Cons of CNG cars in 2024 | Would you buy one for personal usage?

The long queues at the CNG pump are the biggest detterent for me to get CNG
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Old 23rd June 2024, 13:45   #14
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Re: Pros & Cons of CNG cars in 2024 | Would you buy one for personal usage?

Voted No - don't see a compelling reason to get a CNG vehicle as an individual esp with the compromises on the driving feel and boot space. Plus somehow having a cylinder full of gas irrespective of all safety considerations in place just makes me anxious.
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Old 23rd June 2024, 14:56   #15
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Re: Pros & Cons of CNG cars in 2024 | Would you buy one for personal usage?

Voted No.

With EVs and Hybrids establishing themselves strongly, CNGs have become sort of irrelevant.

For a one car family, a perfect allrounder powertrain is the Hybrid - not the most exciting and may fail to strike a chord with the enthusiasts, but does the job for 90% out there as it covers for both range and fuel costs. Hence for most families who want a mix of both highway and city, Hybrid would be a safe choice.

For some who wants a city beater, EV is the best. Relatively low maintenance, low fuel costs and no issues with range. Most folks should be absolutely okay with a max range of 130km as you can come back home and recharge overnight.

I don’t see a usecase where CNGs are relevant anymore. Instead of focusing on such technologies, I wish if manufacturers spent more time in building the future of powertrains like the new Porsche 911 has got, with eTurbo.
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