CNG vs Hybrid engine: Technology explained
As the world of automobiles is increasingly focusing on greener and cleaner powertrain technologies, alternative powertrain solutions such as CNG, Auto LPG, hybrid powertrain, and fully electric powertrain are getting more traction. In India, CNG is touted and promoted as a better fuel alternative than petrol or diesel. CNG is cheaper and greener compared to petrol or diesel.
On the other hand, hybrid powertrain technology too is promoted as a greener and cleaner powertrain alternative. Hybrid powertrain technology is considered a bridge connecting the gap between internal combustion engine technology and fully electric powertrain mechanism.
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CNG vehicles come with a CNG kit installed that works in simulation with the petrol engine onboard a vehicle. The CNG kit can be installed from the aftermarket, or it can be pre-installed by the OEM as well. In India, Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai and Tata Motors sell several models with CNG kits pre-installed.
In the CNG vehicles, a CNG tank is positioned at the back of the vehicle in boot space. The petrol engine is designed in a manner that it works with both petrol and CNG as fuel, one at a time, though. The CNG vehicles use compressed natural gas, which consists mainly of methane or biomethane.
The hybrid vehicle uses multiple energy sources. Often, it is a mixture of electricity and oil. The hybrid vehicles come with an internal combustion engine paired with an electric motor. Hybrid technology is usually three types - full hybrids, mild hybrids and plug-in hybrids. A full hybrid (FHEV) can run on just the combustion engine, the electric engine, or a combination. A full hybrid is not plugged in for recharging; instead, the battery is recharged by running the combustion engine.
A mild hybrid has an electric motor and combustion engine, which work together. A plug-in hybrid (PHEV), as the name suggests, requires plugging into the mains in order to recharge its battery fully. PHEVs can be run in full electric mode.