Maruti Suzuki plans more models with CNG options

The company currently offers five models in CNG options -- compact cars Alto, WagonR and Estilo, multi-purpose van Eeco, and sedan SX4.

"The five models with CNG option launched by Maruti Suzuki have been received well by customers in areas where the fuel is available. We plan to launch more vehicles with the CNG option," Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) Chairman R C Bhargava said in its Sustainability Report for 2010-11.

He, however, did not mention further details such which are the models and when the company is likely to roll out the eco-friendly variants.

Bhargava said the auto industry requires backing from the government to make vehicles with eco-friendly alternate fuel options a success.

"Government support is required to make CNG available across the country. Adequate CNG needs to be allocated for automotive use," he added.

Besides, MSI is also working on to offer hybrid and electric vehicles to Indian customers at an affordable rate.

"Maruti Suzuki engineers are working towards finding cost effective solutions in hybrid electric vehicle and electric vehicle development for Indian customers' needs," the report pointed out.

MSI Managing Director and CEO Shinzo Nakanishi said the company experimented with hybrid and electrical vehicle technologies, and successfully built hybrid SX4 and electric Eeco. The hybrid SX4 cars were used during the Commonwealth Games held in Delhi.
The Hybrid SX4 offers 25 per cent more fuel efficiency compared to conventional petrol vehicles, he added.

With the company's overall focus on reducing its carbon footprint, Nakanishi said MSI has been able to cut CO2 emissions at its two plants at Gurgaon and Manesar via various initiatives that the firm undertook during last fiscal.

The reduction of CO2 in per vehicle and savings of electricity and water consumption at
the Gurgaon plant has been 15 per cent, 16 per cent and 5 per cent respectively, while the same at the Manesar plant was 13 per cent, 1 per cent and 16 per cent respectively, he added.

Talking about social sector initiatives, the company said its expenditure increased to Rs 15.2 crore in 2010-11 from Rs 11.3 crore in 2009-10.

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