14 Jun 2018
CNG-run cabs to finally hit Bengaluru roads this month
CNG-run cabs will finally make their foray into Bengaluru roads.
Cab aggregators Uber and Zib Cabs are both planning to launch such cabs by the end of this month.
While global brand Uber will roll out the cabs after June 20, city-based Zib Cabs say they will start operating 50 CNG-cabs from June 25.
The airport route will be the first target for both.
Uber to sign deal with GAIL Gas, sole CNG supplier
Uber will start rolling their CNG operations under 'Hasiru Bengaluru' (Green Bengaluru) after signing a deal with GAIL Gas Limited on June 20.
"Bengaluru still has a long way to go when it comes to adoption of environment-friendly fuels due to lack of awareness and shortage of filling stations, despite getting its first CNG station (in Laggere) in October 2016," said an Uber spokesperson.
In Bengaluru, only 350 of 73-lakh vehicles run on CNG
A report in April said that only 350 of the total 73 lakh vehicles plying in Bengaluru run on CNG, despite the city having functional CNG pumps.
GAIL Gas, which operates the Laggere station, says only 45 of these vehicles are Karnataka-registered.
CNG stations at Sumanahalli, Hennur and Peenya BMTC depots are lying unused too.
Why are CNG vehicles better than electric counterparts?
Officials have attributed the low CNG-vehicle use to three reasons: lure of electric vehicles, shortage of CNG stations and lack of awareness.
However, CNG is cheaper than diesel and petrol.
CNG vehicles also cost less than electric cars, said GAIL officials, adding 'electric vehicle-charging infrastructure is minimal in big cities and non-existent in smaller ones.'
"Refilling time for CNG is less too," they added.
GAIL Gas hopes
'In 4 years, 2 lakh CNG vehicles will start plying'
Despite everything, GAIL Gas hopes that in four years, more than 2 lakh CNG vehicles will start plying.
The company also plans to set up around 60 CNG stations in the next years; its second CNG station has already come up at a BPCL fuel outlet in Sunkadakatte.
They are planning more stations at Peenya, Bommasandra, Jigani and Bande Kodigehalli.