Volkswagen India Heading Towards CNG-powered Vehicles

by Harish Kumar | 07/05/2019
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As per Volkswagen, CNG vehicles see a more positive prospect in India than conventional fuel-powered cars or electric vehicles.

“Maybe CNG makes more sense if we can get a network in. Let’s not forget if we get electrics, the batteries are going to come from China. We may be assembling the batteries here but the cells will still be imported. We may be reducing our import bill but we may end up increasing other import bills”, said Gurpratap Boparai, Managing Director of Skoda India Pvt Ltd.

With the substantial increase in fuel prices and the implementation of the stricter emission norms, the Indian automobile manufacturers are seeking the adoption of an alternative power source for their future products. The Volkswagen Group is such a company. The German carmaker is now shifting its focus on the CNG-powered cars which is, in their consideration, a potential option for the Indian auto space.

Volkswagen car structure

Volkswagen is now heading to the development of CNG cars in India

Volkswagen has already revealed its plan on launching a new compact SUV in FY 2020-2021, announced that there is no diesel offering on the cards. The new VW SUV will get a turbocharged petrol engine along with a CNG-sourced variant on offer. It is commonly known that CNG utilization is, first and foremost, a great contribution to the cutting-down on emission exhausts. It is claimed to deliver a decrease of 25% in the Carbon Dioxide (CO2) level discharged during the combustion when compared to that of the petrol and diesel versions.

Volkswagen Polo, front view, silver

CNG models are much complimented for reducing the emission gases than other options

Now that the compressed natural gas offers much higher efficiency and lower polluting particles over other sources, it quickly earns the massive popularity from the caraholics. Concerning this, a number of Volkswagen models with CNG options which, hereinafter, is named as the TGI powertrain, are in the pipeline to be launched in the international markets like Germany.

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Apart from the TGI powertrain option, electric vehicles might be another alternative. While the premium Volkswagen brand, Audi make its first step into in the Indian electric segment in late 2019 with the all-new Audi E-Tron, the VW India heads to a different direction. The EV arena seems like not an attractive project for the Volkswagen brand in India due to high manufacturing costs and unclear government policies. As noted by Gurpratap Borapai, this business “may end up increasing other import bills”. He also added that the long-term impact of the electric powertrain in terms of pollution is not less than BS-VI compliant engines as India now still burns fossil fuels for electricity generation. The CNG will be the superlative resort for India.

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