Dharmendra Pradhan, India’s minister for petroleum and natural gas, has launched India’s first long-distance compressed natural gas (CNG) bus led by Indraprastha Gas Ltd. (IGL), the largest CNG distribution company in India.
The composite cylinder-based fuel system designed, engineered, assembled and delivered by Agility Fuel Solutions, along with its Indian partner, Advantek Fuel Systems, more than doubles the range of India’s CNG buses and is also equipped with a module that reduces filling time.
IGL’s program begins a shift away from diesel, which previously accounted for 100% of intercity travel. While Indian CNG buses previously had a maximum range of 350 km, the program’s five buses each have a range of over 1,100 km – a first in India’s automotive history.
At 1,360 total liters, Agility’s four tanks nearly double the 720-liter capacity of India’s current CNG bus systems; fleet operators get more than double the range at less than half the weight.
“Agility is the only company that offered system solutions and offered to assume turnkey responsibility to handle this project. Due to our longstanding relationship and established trust, we were more than thrilled to work with IGL, the pioneers and leader in India’s gas industry, on this initiative,” adds Ravindra Vasisht, director of Agility India Pvt Ltd. and Hexagon Composites India.
CNG costs about 20% less than diesel. IGL’s pilot program encourages fleet owners to save money on long-distance travel. Delhi is one of four cities implementing new CNG technology, encouraged by the Gas Authority of India Ltd.
Gas companies in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru are also planning on introducing long-distance CNG buses to their fleets.
Photo: India’s CNG buses