Exclusive: Maruti Suzuki is focusing on CNG cars, proving to be a game changer in green vehicles | Auto News

The world is rapidly moving towards the electric field of cars and India is trying to reach the speed of countries like China and many EU countries that have adopted electric cars. In India, though, the government is focusing on the electricity of commercial vehicles and two-wheelers by offering a lot of sops to manufacturers and buyers. However, as always, there are four wheels in poster boy for electric cars in India.

Electric cars with high battery size and modern features are seen as a way to enter the growing EV part of India. Many of the many car manufacturers as well as luxury manufacturers are offering EVs to the customers in India. In the midst of all this, India’s Maruti Suzuki car owners have time and again a body angle from the wave lights stating that their idea of ​​pure energy is CNG (compressed natural gas) rather than electric cars.

While Maruti Suzuki initially thought of offering the Wagon R an electric trimmer, the company’s top management had decided to move away from the concept of a small electric car and instead give CNG in all their cars. Maruti Suzuki offers the largest range of CNG products in India with eight models with CNG variants.

The S-CNG is what Maruti calls technology and is limited to Maruti Suzuki Arena products only. With no fixed time, Maruti Suzuki has announced that NEXA range of products like Baleno, XL6 among others may also receive CNG variations in the near future. If that happened, Maruti Suzuki would have a spread of at least 10 CNG products in total.

Selling smart, the company expects sales number of 2.5 lakh units of CNG variants for current budget, from 1.60 lakh units at FY21, 1.06 lakh units at FY20, 1.05 lakh units at FY19 and 0.75 lakh units at FY18. Sales of CNG variances increased month-on-month to about 18 per cent in Q4 2021 as compared to 11 per cent during the same period a year ago.

Maruti Suzuki has already sold around 1.50 lakh CNG cars by the end of 2021. Going through the current trend, Maruti Suzuki will finish FY22 with 1.35 million car sales in total and CNG sales of 2.5 lakh means a strong 20% ​​of general sales figures, making Maruti the largest CNG maker in India.

For the past 2 years, the Maruti Suzuki Wagon R electric prototype has been spotted on the Delhi-NCR road test lines, triggering speculation on the EV launch brand in India. Neither did Maruti shoot the rumors as a brand marking the pursuit of government orders either by Tata Motors or Mahindra, both offering their sedans with 100+ km range under Rs 10 lakh. However, Maruti Suzuki later found out the difference between the cost of running the ICE Wagon R and the Wagon R fire and paused the idea of ​​launching the eWagon R for a while.

Instead, the company is now facing CNG. According to the management of Maruti Suzuki, until the brand mark is able to crack the EV charge, it is not wise to put the vehicle on the road just because of it, receiving miniscule sales numbers. As we have seen in the case of almost all EVs on sales in India and from the figures given by Maruti Suzuki, the electric car is valued as double the cost of its ICE counterpart. In the field, Tata Nexon starts at Rs 7 lakh while Nexon lighting starts at Rs 13 lakh. Similarly, MG Astor starts at Rs 12 lakh, while MG ZS EV starts at Rs 23 lakh.

If the Wagon R had to be analyzed by the same lens, the light output would be at least Rs 10 lakh for a standard 200 battery and Rs 11 lakh for a battery lasting 300+ km. This, along with the case of limited charging stations, is holding Maruti Suzuki back to go all out on EVs. However, the brand has reiterated time and again that as and when technology develops and battery charge is low, the brand will be ready with high EV and high voltage.

Shashank Srivastava, Executive Director, Maruti Suzuki said the CNG section is here to stay. He further said that while electric vehicles are surprisingly low on operating cost, they have a high initial cost of ownership. CNG cars, on the other hand, cost as much as any diesel engine of any vehicle and have a running cost as low as Rs 1.70 per mile, while gasoline engines have Rs 5.20 per mile running. This allows CNG vehicles to replace diesel engines immediately.

In addition, the number of CNG stations has increased and is present in many cities. “Previously, the number of cities covered was about 120 or more, and we had 1,400 CNG forms in the country. Today, we have about 3,500 pumps across 250 cities and in a few years, they will go to 10,000 covering about 330 cities, ”Srivastava said at a conference. He said that as CNG infrastructure increases, the development of the CNG component is unlikely. There are 4,000 CNG stations across 250 cities, up from 1,400 stations in 150 cities in the last 3-4 years.

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