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India launches long-range CNG bus service enabled by Agility Fuel Solutions

India’s Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan, launched India’s first long distance compressed natural gas (CNG) bus under a strategic program led by Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL), the largest CNG distribution company in India. The launch ushers in CNG as the fuel of choice for long distance transportation in India.

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The composite cylinder-based complete bus fuel system designed, engineered, assembled and delivered by Agility Fuel Solutions, along with its Indian partner Advantek Fuel Systems, more than doubles the range of India's CNG buses and is also equipped with a special fast filling module to reduce filling time.

While CNG buses in India previously traveled 350 km (217 miles) at best, the program’s five buses with Agility’s technology each have a range of more than 1100 km.

With BS VI Emissions Standards going into effect on 1 April 2020, IGL’s program begins a shift away from diesel, which previously accounted for 100% of intercity travel, towards a gas-based economy.

Buses outfitted with Agility Fuel Solutions’ roof-top CNG systems not only allow fleet owners to achieve BS VI easily, but allow them to do so in a cost-effective manner, since CNG costs less than diesel.

At 1,360 liters total, Agility’s four tanks nearly double the 720-liter capacity of India’s current CNG bus systems. At the same time, India’s current systems have a weight of around 1100 kg, which will drop to 490 kg using Agility’s systems. Fleet operators thus get more than double the range at less than half the weight. CNG buses also get better mileage and have lower maintenance costs.

Additionally, CNG costs on average about 20-25% less than diesel. IGL’s pilot program leads the way for fleet owners to save money on long distance travel, even while complying with BS VI. Delhi is one of four cities implementing new CNG technology under the encouragement of Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL). Together, city gas companies in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru are also planning to demonstrate how long distance CNG buses can become common in India.

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