Japanese auto giant Suzuki has showcased a new WagonR at the Japan Auto Show which is powered by compressed biogas, or CBG. First showcased at the G7 Summit in Hiroshima in May this year, the WagonR CBG highlights the Japanese carmaker’s intention of using alternative energy, other than electricity, to power vehicles while attaining carbon neutrality by ditching petrol or diesel. Toshihiro Suzuki, CEO of Suzuki Motor Corporation, highlighted the usefulness of cow manures to produce biogas as alternative fuel. He said India could play a key role in making Compressed Biogas mainstream.
Compressed Biogas (CBG) is made from decomposed organic waste like agricultural items, cow manure and even. The decomposed waste is refined through a process to reduce carbon dioxide and increase the methane content in the fuel. The process is somewhat similar to the way Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) is made. The difference is that for CNG, the source of the fuel is natural gas.
During his speech at the Japan Auto Show this week, Toshihiro Suzuki said massive amount of cow manure is potentially a gold mine to generate Compressed Biogas. He said, “It is said that there are about 300 million cows in India. Do you all know? One day’s worth of cow dung from 10 cows is enough fuel to power one car for one day. From this basic point of view, we have developed the WagonR that runs on purified biogas.”
Suzuki also said that to achieve true carbon neutrality, the auto industry should look beyond electric vehicles and venture into alternative fuel like CNG and CBG. Suzuki’s plans to use CBG as alternative fuel for its vehicles is not new. The carmaker had earlier signed a deal with Banas Dairy and the National Dairy Development Board to setup a biogas production plant in Gujarat. In the next three years, Suzuki aims to set up around four biogas facilities at an investment of up to ₹230 crore.
The CBG version of the WagonR hatchback is unlikely to hit Indian shores anytime soon. Maruti Suzuki sells the CNG version of the hatchback besides the regular petrol version. There are also talks of an electric avatar of the boxy WagonR in near future.
First Published Date: 27 Oct 2023, 16:20 PM IST