Despite it being a cheaper, environment-friendly fuel, auto LPG is not taking off in India. This, according to the Indian Auto-LPG Coalition (IAC), is due to government’s apathy.
“Lack of government policy support has been the single biggest reason holding back the widespread adoption of auto LPG in India,” says Suyash Gupta, Director General, IAC.
IAC is the voice of the auto LPG industry in India. It is a member of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules – Technical Standing Committee and the Standing Committee on Emission Legislation, Government of India.
In many ways even CNG, the government is overlooking auto LPG, while somewhat overplaying the benefits of EVs in recent times. This has particularly impeded auto LPG’s uptake, Gupta told businessline recently.
Around 330,000 metric tonnes of Auto LPG were sold last year, after LPG vehicles were allowed, in April 2000. While this number itself is not heartening, sales of this fuel have been on a downtrend in the last few years, says Gupta.
He blames this on “impractical regulations”, such as type approval norms for conversion kits. Further, the GST on auto LPG is 18 per cent compared with 5 per cent on domestic LPG. (Other automotive fuels, like petrol and diesel, are not under GST.)
Compared with CNG, LPG gives off 13 per cent lower methane and 54 per cent lower particulate matter (PM) emissions. It also gives off lower nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and carbon dioxide than CNG. Compared with diesel, LPG gives off 74 per cent lower nitrogen oxides and 81 per cent lower pm levels. It also gives lower carbon dioxide than diesel.
Furthermore, compared with petrol, LPG leads to 51 per cent lower particulate matter (PM) and up to 21 per cent lower CO2 emissions.
“In fact, when tested for BS-VI norms, compared with petrol, LPG emits nearly half of the carbon monoxide (CO), total hydrocarbons (THC) and nonmethane hydrocarbons (NmHC),” Gupta says.
Still, vehicle manufacturers are paring production of LPG variants, “possibly owing to lack of policy support”.
Gupta further notes that the government is encouraging electric vehicles, though it is known that half the electricity used for charging EVs comes from burning coal.