The constantly increasing price of fuel is a reason to worry for many car owners in India. As compared to petrol and diesel prices, CNG seems to be a feasible option. It is why most car buyers in India tend towards getting a CNG Kit for their cars. CNG is a clear environment- friendly fuel that enhances a vehicle’s performance in a significant way. It reduces the emission levels of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon, particulate matter, and smoke as compared to cars with petrol and diesel engines.
Despite being an ideal choice, there are strict rules and regulations in place for the installation of CNG kits.
Why there is a need for strict rules for CNG kits in vehicles?
Recently, the number of fire incidents reported in vehicles carrying CNG kits are rapidly increasing in the country. Thinking about the gravity of the situation, the Road Safety Society and International Road Federation (IRF) has urged the Union Ministry of Surface Transport and Highways to implement strict actions, including mandatory technical requirements and a digital monitoring system.
As per the latest announcement by the Indian government, new car owners can now install CNG kits in their vehicles (with petrol or diesel fuel type). Cars with engines that are complaisant with BS (Bharat Stage)-VI emission norms can now install CNG kits. New vehicles with CNG kits will have to get tested for accident situations. In addition to that, the CNG kits will have an expiry date, post which they will need to be tested again.
RTO Rules and Regulations about CNG Vehicles
- Check whether your car is compatible to be converted into a CNG car. You can check your car’s compatibility by contacting the RTO in your area.
- Make sure to check the authenticity of a CNG kit before installing it. Buy a branded CNG kit from an authorized dealer.
- As per RTO rules, vehicle owners who want to convert their petrol vehicle into CNG must visit the authorized retrofitment centers for obtaining approval.
- After getting the approval, vehicle owners are required to change the fuel type information (from petrol to CNG) in the vehicle RC.
- After the installation of the approved CNG kit in the car, mandatory documents must be submitted in RTO. Some of them include;
– Original RC
– Notarized Copy of Insurance
– PUC certificate post
-CNG kit installation
– Address Proof and PAN of the vehicle owner
– Invoice of CNG retro-fitment
- Next, an RTO officer will complete the physical inspection of the vehicle with a CNG kit.
- Vehicle owners will also have to pay the applicable fee for CNG Kit Endorsement in RTO, along with road tax charges on the invoice value of the CNG kit.
- CNG cylinders shall be tested every five years in agreement with the Gas Cylinder Rules 2004.
Things to keep in mind before installing a CNG kit in your vehicle
- Buying and installing a CNG kit can be really expensive. It can cost around Rs. 60,000 to Rs. 70,000, depending upon the make and model of your car. Though, it is a one-time investment that can be recovered within a few years, maintaining your car with a CNG kit also becomes very pricey.
- There are a limited number of CNG fueling stations in India. So, if you are planning to install a CNG kit in your car, make sure you have CNG fueling stations in your neighborhood.
- Using a retro-fitted CNG car degrades the power and performance of your car over time because changing fuel type adversely impacts the engine of the vehicle. It will result in frequent servicing of the vehicle, which will make the maintenance price go higher.
- Changing the fuel type of the car to CNG also increases the cost of car insurance premiums. Since the cost of maintaining and repairing a CNG car is higher than a petrol/diesel car, the car insurance premiums rates also increase by at least 10 percent.
Vehicle owners with CNG kits must take the following points into account
- Cars with CNG kits should not be parked in the sun for a longer duration, especially in areas with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees.
- Due to thermal extension in hot climates, it is advised to not overfill the tank to the maximum limit.
- Install the CNG kit from the government-authorized CNG station center and check for the expiry date of the cylinder.
- Never purchase CNG kits from local dealers.
- The CNG kit tank must be serviced every six months.
You Can Read: RTO-approved CNG kit Brands in India