While most of the discussion at the 58th Annual SIAM Convention was centred around electric vehicles, Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, diverted the people's attention to CNG vehicles too. He said that by 2030, 10,000 CNG stations will be opened in India. Currently India has only 1424 CNG stations as of April 2018 and these cater to the 3 million CNG vehicles that have been sold in the country. Currently Indian car makers are providing factory fitted CNG kits on its cars. Companies like Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai already have this as part of its line up; and now even Ford is likely to get into the act.
The Petroleum Minister went on to state that CNG is domestic and it won't have any impact on oil import. In fact he said that each CNG unit saves 750 litres of petrol a year and mind you, CNG vehicles post lower emissions. According to Pradhan, CNG cars emit 20-30 percent less CO2 when compared to cars driven by petrol or diesel.
While the consumers have the option of buying a CNG vehicle, not everyone prefers to buy one given the long lines one has to wait in and that's majorly because of the dearth of filling stations. 82 per cent of the CNG filling stations are in Gujarat, New Delhi and Maharshtra only and that shows how sparse the distribution network in the rest of the country is.