The latest price hike makes CNG highly unpopular among truckers
Published On Oct 09, 2022 10:10 AM
Narrowing the price gap against diesel takes away the operational benefits of the fleet.
At a time when diesel prices started to touch the roof, adversely impacting the operating economics of fleet operators and truck owners, compressed natural gas (CNG) emerged as the preferred option to offset the diesel hike and save substantially on a truck running cost. And this gave a flip to the sale of CNG-powered trucks, especially in the light and intermediate commercial vehicle segments. OEMs also strengthen their CNG portfolio by introducing new trucks that are fuel efficient, powerful, and affordable.
Related: 5 Popular CNG Trucks in India
The going was good in favor of CNG with the wide price difference between diesel and CNG, thus making huge benefits to truck operators. The customer buying pattern witnessed a strategic shift, and they started to induct CNG trucks into the fleet. According to industry reports, the share of CNG-powered trucks jumped to as much as 40 % in ILCV categories alone in the middle of last year. The industry was positively optimistic about this shift which became a win-win for all the stakeholders with anticipations of further demand for CNG trucks. However, the consistent hike in CNG prices over the one year dampened the spirit and customers started to turn their back on CNG due to sustained price hikes.
The latest bump of approximately 7-8% just early last week further a big blow to the retail prices. Notwithstanding the latest hike, CNG prices are climbing upward consistently due to soaring natural gas prices in the global markets. India being a net importer of energy saw the impact in the domestic market almost immediately.
And there is unlikely to be a respite of lower CNG prices in the near future, thus making it highly unpopular among truck buyers. Yet, certain markets in India are still attractive for CNG trucks including NCR where only CNG trucks can ply the roads.
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