The country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India is planning to add more models with environment-friendly CNG option to its existing fleet of five such cars. The company currently offers five models in CNG options — compact cars Alto, WagonR and Estilo, multi-purpose van Eeco, and sedan SX4.
“The five models with CNG option launched by Maruti Suzuki have been received well by customers in areas where the fuel is available. We plan to launch more vehicles with the CNG option,” Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) Chairman R C Bhargava said in its Sustainability Report for 2010-11.
He, however, did not mention further details such as which are the models and when the company is likely to roll out the eco-friendly variants.
Bhargava said the auto industry requires backing from the government to make vehicles with eco-friendly alternate fuel options a success. “Government support is required to make CNG available across the country. Adequate CNG needs to be allocated for automotive use,” he added. Besides, MSI is also working on to offer hybrid and electric vehicles to Indian customers at an affordable rate.
“Maruti Suzuki engineers are working towards finding cost effective solutions in hybrid electric vehicle and electric vehicle development for Indian customers’ needs,” the report pointed out.
MSI Managing Director and CEO Shinzo Nakanishi said the company experimented with hybrid and electrical vehicle technologies, and successfully built hybrid SX4 and electric Eeco. The hybrid SX4 cars were used during the Commonwealth Games held in Delhi.
The Hybrid SX4 offers 25 per cent more fuel efficiency compared to conventional petrol vehicles, he added.