CNG-powered 2-wheelers to hit the streets as part of pilot plan

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on June 23, 2016


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Kits to be made by Indian arm of Iranian firm ITUK; pilot to be implemented by GAIL, Indraprastha Gas

The next time you order a Domino’s Pizza, the delivery boy may just vroom in on a CNG-powered two-wheeler. Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) run four-wheelers and three-wheelers have seen a lot of traction, but now for the first time the country will see two-wheelers running on this fuel.

With diesel attracting the ire of environmentalists and duly supported by the courts, the country’s refiners and those in the auto fuel business have been looking at alternatives. One such alternative is vehicles running on CNG.

Manufactured by the Indian arm of Iranian firm ITUK Manufacturing Co, at its Pune plant, these kits will be retro-fitted in 50 Honda Activas as part of the government’s pilot programme to be implemented by GAIL (India) and Indraprastha Gas Ltd.

These retrofitted Honda Activas will be given to Domino’s Pizza delivery boys for free and their performance will be monitored closely for efficiency and emission before the programme is thrown open to the public.

The pilot programme was launched by Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister for State (Independent Charge) for Petroleum & Natural Gas, along with Prakash Javadekar, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment Forests and Climate Change.

“This is a new initiative. Let it be technically and commercially feasible then we can discuss costs,” said Pradhan when asked about the price of the kits. However, he added that that the running cost on CNG will be 40 per cent lower than petrol. Pradhan added that according to the manufacturer of the CNG kits, the vehicles will have 75 per cent less hydrocarbon emissions and 20 per cent less carbon monoxide emissions.

The CNG kits consists of two cylinders of 4.8-litre water capacity, or 1kg of CNG each, which would enable the two-wheelers run 120 km in a single fill.

According to estimates, the petrol-run Honda Activa has a mileage of around 50 km per litre.

This would mean its average running cost on petrol would be ₹1.3 per km while on CNG it could be as low as 61 paise per km. The kits have been approved by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), the Transport Department of the Government of India and all the components have received approvals from the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation, the International Centre for Automotive Technology and the ARAI.

Combating pollution

The pilot programme is also part of the ‘awa Badlo movement of GAIL to fight air pollution. As part of the initiative, GAIL supports research initiatives related to CNG retrofitting of two-wheelers.

Published on June 23, 2016
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