With people wanting low running costs increasingly opting for CNG, sales of Maruti Ertiga have soared for offering this option
In its second generation now, the Maruti Ertiga was first launched with a 1.5-litre petrol engine as well as a 1.3-litre diesel engine that was carried over from the previous generation. The MPV was slated to get a bigger diesel motor but the BSVI norms along with increasing cost of diesel led to the demise of the diesel option. Today, the MPV continues to be available with the petrol engine along with a CNG variant that has experienced a good demand – so good that it has pretty much filled the void left by the demise of the diesel variant.
A look at the sales figures of the Maruti Ertiga in 2021 reveals it sold 51,076 units of the CNG variant. This is, in fact, very close to the best ever annual sale of 51,446 units of the diesel variant. From this, it is easy to understand that CNG is fast replacing diesel as a fuel of choice for those with a high usage, especially the cab owners. There are many reasons for this. First of all, with the arrival of the BSVI emission norms, many models are no longer available with diesel engine. The Ertiga has been a great buy for commercial use and with the diesel variant being axed, it’s only obvious for fleet operators to opt for the CNG variant instead. Another reason is the increased cost of fuel. Diesel now retails close to Rs 100 a litre in many parts of the country. On the contrary, CNG, in spite of getting costlier, retails at sub-Rs 70 a litre levels.
Also, the fuel efficiency of CNG cars is at par with their diesel counterparts and that is something which has surely caught the fancy of many car buyers. Another factor working in favour of these vehicles is the increased number of fuel outlets that dispense CNG. Finally, the factory-fitted CNG kits not only come with a warranty but are also a much safer choice than the aftermarket options. They also don’t affect the petrol engine’s performance by a great degree, especially in case of the Maruti Ertiga.
The only limiting factor here is the CNG fuel tank. The Maruti Ertiga has a CNG tank capacity of only 9 kg. This means even by ARAI-tested fuel efficiency of 26.08, the driving range is less than 250 km on a full tank. Also, filling the tank to the brim is mostly not possible owing to various factors such as temperature and pressure. The second issue here is that the tank eats into the cabin space, thereby making the interior a bit less spacious. In spite of all this, the low running costs coupled with the environment-friendly nature of the fuel, makes the Ertiga a great choice in CNG format.