Kilometer range of CNG Mini Trucks - Back to back Trial of Ace CNG Plus vs Maruti Super Carry

Background of CNG Mini Trucks

There are primarily 3 CNG mini trucks in India, one each from Tata Motors, Mahindra and Maruti Suzuki. And amongst these 3 brands, the tussle for market share generally used to be between Tata Ace CNG and Maruti Super Carry CNG. While Tata Ace CNG offered a superb mileage of approximately 25 KM/KG, Maruti Super Carry had an advantage of bi-fuel technology i.e. if the CNG in Maruti Carry got exhausted anytime, there was an additional 5 litre fuel tank on which the vehicle could run. Therefore the kilometer range anxiety was a major challenge coming in the way of Tata Ace CNG when compare to Maruti Carry, both of which had a total CNG tank capacity of 12 Kgs with its 2 CNG cylinders of 6 Kg each.

What’s New in Ace CNG PLUS ?

While developing a new engine with bi-fuel technology would cost a lot to Tata Motors, the company played very smartly by just adding another 6 Kg CNG cylinder in the Tata Mini truck, and named this model as Ace CNG Plus. This way, the total fuel tank capacity of Tata Ace CNG Plus is now 18 Kg, 50% higher than that of Maruti Super Carry CNG. And this move is supposed to wash away the worry of kilometer range anxiety in small CNG powered mini trucks.

Kilometer Range Trial to Test the Actual Range of Both CNG Mini Trucks

To test the actual range of both these CNG mini trucks, we conducted a live back to back trial of both vehicles on a long stretch of road. The route chosen was KMP expressway surrounding the Delhi NCR region with a total periphery of over 225 kilometers.

Maruti Suzuki Super Carry CNG

The objective was to check the total kilometer range till the last drop of gas in the CNG cylinders of these 2 mini trucks.

Like to Like Condition for Both Mini Trucks to Get the Most Practical Results

To ensure that the results replicate the live conditions, we loaded both the vehicles with equal load of 50 mineral water bottles, each of 20 litres. And after this both the CNG mini trucks were topped up at CNG pump near Gurgaon Kherki Daula toll tax. And even the total load on each vehicle was precisely matched at a nearby weight bridge. After having filled the CNG tanks till top and petrol tank also in case of Maruti Super Carry, it was a like to like open ground for both the vehicles to perform till the last drop of fuel. 

And the Actual Back to Back Trial Begins with Full Preparedness

The meter reading of both the CNG powered mini trucks was noted in the beginning of trial which started at around 7.45 am, so that we could find the exact km when the vehicle finally stopped. The vehicles now moving on KMP highway via manesar entry point were made to run at a speed of approximately 60-65 KMPH steady speed. And as a follow-up support vehicle, a tow van moved along both these Tata and Maruti mini trucks.

@Check complete back to back trial 

The vehicles only stopped for lunch on a highway dhaba and for 2-2 minutes on the tolls that came our way. And then the time came around dusk when Maruti Super Carry switched to petrol fuel automatically. From morning to afternoon and afternoon to evening, both the vehicles kept on running.

Tata Ace CNG Plus

The kilometer reading noted at this timeframe of fuel switching was 218 Km and we continued on our journey. It was getting dark and we were hungry also since the preparations began early morning and since then we were only on the lookout of a dhaba on the highway but couldn’t succeed. At around 8 pm in the evening the bi-fuel Maruti Super Carry CNG stopped completed near Taoru toll sign towards Faridabad. The petrol lasted for approximately 97 km after the engine switched over from CNG.

Towing A Vehicle And Continuing The Journey With Other Mini Truck

After exhausting the 5 litre petrol tank and stopping, the vehicle could start again but only to run for 100 meters more, which meant that now it was the time to tow it with the help of towing van. We had instructed the towing van driver to drive slowly to take care of safety during night and get down from expressway and park the vehicle at the same pump from where we got the tanks filled in the morning. Simultaneously, Tata Ace CNG Plus was continuing non stop till around 12.30 am in the mid night when the fuel gauge started blinking. To our surprise, there was still 1 more hour of CNG left with vehicle running at the same speed. At almost 1.40 am in the night finally Tata Ace CNG also stopped. Tata Ace CNG Plus trip distance noted at this time was an astounding 468 km, way beyond our expectations.

KM range, Fuel Refill and Running Cost analysis

Finally after towing Ace CNG Plus and bringing it to the CNG pump, it was time to refill the CNG tanks and calculate the actual results. Maruti Super Carry’s CNG tank could fill in only 10.4 KGs of gas while Ace CNG Plus filled a heavy 16.3 Kg total CNG. Along with CNG, Super Carry’s petrol tank was also filled with over 5 litres of petrol of Rs 530, making it a total of Rs 1214 for CNG and petrol put together. Whereas for the 468 total kilometers of Ace CNG Plus, 16.4 KG gas cost us only Rs 1074.

Thus, the running cost per kilometer for Ace CNG Plus turned out to be Rs 2.29/Km whereas it stood at Rs 3.85/Km for Super Carry CNG.

Hope you liked the trial video and got an understanding of the CNG mini truck industry as well as approximate km range of various products.