Going green on a lean budget

Fuel prices have skyrocketed in the past few weeks.

To make things worse comes the further talk of increasing the price of diesel at fuel pumps. In such times, one should look at fuel-efficient options which use alternative fuels like Compressed Natural gas (CNG) and Electric Hybrid cars.

CNG costs Rs 29 per kilogram, and is mainly used to run commercial vehicles in Delhi.

Maruti has specially designed and modified nine different vehicles starting from the Eeco van, Alto, Wagon R, Estilo, SX4 etc. to run on CNG using advanced twin computer technology.

The new generation of CNG cars will definitely offer you better performance compared to their older counterparts where you had to start pushing the accelerator a day before you actually started driving. The new cars come with integrated cylinders and piping as well as computers which monitor engine performance. Says I. V.

Rao of Maruti, "Today's generation of specially designed CNG vehicles give you almost the same performance as their petrol powered counterparts at half the cost." Maruti is not the only vehicle manufacturer with CNG vehicles.

Many others have jumped on to the CNG bandwagon as well. Toyota offers an excellent Innova and Corolla Altis in CNG.

General Motors India has an Aveo model in CNG on offer. At the launch of the Aveo CNG, Managing Director of General Motors in India, Karl Slym said, "Its (Aveo CNG's) running cost is approximately 54 per cent lower than a similar vehicle powered by petrol and 25 per cent lower than a similar vehicle powered by diesel."

He added: "Because of the lower operating economics and the growing number of CNG stations being built across India, this offering is expected to appeal to both individual and fleet customers."

CNG is a clean and green fuel which is quite light on your pocket. If you desire to go the unconventional way (and have the moolah for it) you can of course opt for a hybrid car.

A hybrid, as the name implies, is a vehicle that uses two sources of power — a conventional petrol or diesel engine and an electric motor.

Honda was the first company in India to make a hybrid version of the Civic available, though it did not do very well.

Toyota has not fared much better either with its globally popular Prius — thanks to the huge import duties imposed on all such cars by the government.

One hybrid vehicle which has done surprisingly well in India is the Porsche Cayenne SUV.

This is simply because it is placed in a segment in which people do not mind spending a little extra.

If you want to be green and are lean on the budget, do opt for a new generation CNG vehicle.

Your running costs will be half of petrol and at least 30 per cent cheaper than with diesel.

The only drawback is the long queues at filling stations and the fact that filling stations are only located in the Delhi and NCR areas.

You would also have to pick your way between auto-rickshaws and taxis— but with the savings you make at the end of the day will make it worthwhile for you.

And if you have the money — go for a Hybrid.

Reproduced From Mail Today. Copyright 2011. MTNPL. All rights reserved.


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