US-headquartered Agility Fuel Solutions, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hexagon Composites, announced that it has developed a long range solution for CNG buses, along with its Indian partner Advantek Fuel Systems. Hexagon Composites is a leading global provider of clean fuel solutions for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles. Agility is testing the efficacy of this solution in partnership with IGL and Mahindra & Mahindra.
The CNG buses developed with their solution uses a composite cylinder-based complete bus fuel system designed, engineered and assembled, which more than doubles the range of CNG buses. While these buses previously travelled 350 km at best, the five buses with Agility’s technology have a range of over 1,100km each. Ravindra Vasisht, director, Agility India and Hexagon Composites India said: “Agility is the only company that offered system solutions and to assume turnkey responsibility to handle this project. Due to our longstanding relationship and established trust, we were more than thrilled to work with IGL, the pioneers and leader in India’s gas industry on this initiative.”
The CNG buses developed with their solution was launched by Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, on December 24, 2019 under a strategic program led by Indraprastha Gas (IGL), the largest CNG distribution company in India. The company says the launch ushers CNG as the fuel of choice for long distance transportation in India. Speaking at the occasion, Pradhan urged Indian automotive and fleet industry to implement long distance travel solutions with CNG. Dr M M Kutty, secretary, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Gajendra Singh, director, GAIL, ES Ranganathan, MD, IGL and Manoj Chugh, president, Mahindra & Mahindra were also present at the launch.
The company says with BS VI emissions standards coming into effect from April 1, 2020, buses fitted with Agility Fuel Solutions’ roof top CNG systems not only allows fleet owners to meet BS VI norms easily, but also allows them to do it in a cost-effective manner. Eric Bippus, senior VP, global sales and marketing, Agility Fuel Solutions said: "The Indian market represents a significant opportunity for Agility Fuel Solutions to bring its world leading product line to this market. Agility already has a strong presence in the market and intends to expand manufacturing capabilities in India.” ES Ranganathan, MD IGL added that “We are very happy to be working with Agility to showcase this technology in India and we hope that fleet operators will shift to CNG for long distance operations since they will save both on fuel costs but also save on the green tax levied for diesel vehicles.”
At 1,360-litres total, Agility’s four tanks (rooftop installed) nearly double the 720-litre capacity of India’s current CNG bus systems. According to the company, the present systems have a weight of around 1,100kg which can be drastically reduced to 490kg using Agility’s system. Fleet operators thus get more than double the range at less than half the weight.