Mercedes Benz has abandoned its plans to market compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles in India because it doesn’t want the owners of its expensive cars queing up behind commercial vehicles to re-fuel. CNG may be cleaner and greener and Mercedes has the technology to roll out CNG variants of the Mercedes E-Class, but the shortage of fuelling stations resulting in likely discomfort for its customers has led to the cancellation of alternate fuel plans.
The automaker was testing a CNG variant of the E-Class till last year whose mileage would have been 18-20 kilometers per kilogram of CNG costing Rs 21. Petrol sells at Rs. 46 per litre in Delhi. For a car costing at Rs. 38 lakh, more Indian customers prefer the diesel variant, which accounts for about 60% of sales of the E-Class. Mercedes in India is also involved in a jatropha plant-based biodiesel project for the last six years in association with the Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute and the University of Hohenheim.