'Green fuels' catch car-makers' eye
New Delhi, July 23: With crude oil prices touching 75 dollar a barrel in the international market, and petrol selling at over Rs 50 a litre in cities like Mumbai and Bangalore, the car-makers are now betting on green fuel-run vehicles which are cost effective to commuters by 30 per cent.
Maruti Udyog Ltd and Hindustan Motors have come up with their latest models fitted with LPG and CNG kits offering an economy drive to commuters in the cities, as well as to those on highways.
MUL last week launched the all new fuel-efficient and sporty look WagonR, functional on both petrol and LPG without a change in the price tag, for now.
Hindustan Motors has said the Lancer would be fitted with a CNG conversion kit, based on the international design of BRC Italy.
The car-makers, industry experts feel, are not setting a trend but following it from the unuthorised LPG/CNG kit-makers. While the users, were tempted to get these kits fitted in their cars because of the differential in the running cost, they did express concern regarding the safety measures.
The issue of safety has been well-addressed by the car-makers, which are factory-fitting the alternate fuel kits after getting them tested and checked by government certified laboratories.
''The LPG-run WagonR is tested and certified by the Department of Explosives and Automotive Research Association of India. Thus the WagonR Duo will provide customers with lower-running cost to the extent of 33 per cent, without the safety risk associated with the unapproved LPG kits,'' MUL Managing Director Jagdish Khattar said.
While in the past, users would fix the domestic cooking LPG cylinder in the boot of the car, the factory-fitted cars can get the green fuels from authorised filling stations. The LPG tank WagonR comes with a tyre-shaped black colour cylinder fitted at place of a spare tyre.
The availability of the LPG and CNG for automobile has improved considerably from the authorised stations. While the national capital has 16 outlets of the clean fuel, its availability is improving throughout the country, MUL official said.