Preventing Cylinder Blast

‘Hybrid vehicles should replace CNG-run autos’

ANM Mohibub Uz Zaman

26 February, 2019 12:00 AM printer

People should be encouraged to buy hybrid vehicles instead of using CNG-run automobiles to avoid fire incidents that are causing loss of lives and properties across the country nowadays. 

Riding CNG-run vehicles has become quite dangerous these days. Cylinder blasts in vehicles converted to CNG mode have lately claimed a number of lives across the country.

As cost of fuel for hybrid vehicles is almost the same compared to that of CNG-run vehicles, people can be encouraged to use hybrid vehicles, introducing different incentives for its buyers.

Besides green loans and easy term loans, significant amount of slash on the cost of registration of vehicles and road tax may inspire people to buy hybrid vehicles instead of conventional CNG-run automobiles.

“Hybrid vehicles can be a perfect alternative to the conventional CNG-run vehicles, as it is fuel efficient. Fuel cost of these vehicles is not higher that that of CNG-run vehicles,” said Kazi Md Saifun Newaz, assistant professor of Accident Research Institute (ARI) at BUET.

If people are encouraged to use hybrid vehicles, dependence on cylinder-based vehicles will automatically be reduced, resulting in fall in number of fire incidents caused by cylinder blast in the country, said the professor. 

Usually, people go for conversion of their gasoline-run vehicles to CNG mode for fuel-efficiency. As hybrid car is fuel efficient, people can buy it as good alternative to the conventional vehicles, he added.

In this regard, government and concerned businessmen can offer lucrative incentives for the buyers, he suggested.

Usually, users should get their cylinders tested for its fitness in every five years.   But some users are not following the safety rules properly, he said.

Gas cylinder remains safe under 3200 Pounds Per Square Inch (PSI) pressure. But this volume of pressure is not being maintained by the users. Sometimes, connection failure in cylinder valves and leaks also cause explosion, the expert said.

Thanks to low operating cost and less environmental impact, hybrid vehicles is now becoming popular across the world including Bangladesh.

A good number of hybrid cars are now seen running on the streets and highways in our country as people find it fuel efficient and more comfortable.

Due to long queue in CNG refueling station and risk of cylinder explosion, people prefer to buy hybrid vehicles instead of converting their conventional vehicles to CNG-run ones.

Hybrid vehicles have a combination of electric motor and a traditional combustible gasoline engine. It simultaneously uses rechargeable batteries and fuel tank to store gasoline for pushing the car forward.

In this type of vehicles, users can easily shift their operating system from electric mode to gasoline-run engine mode.

For satisfactory fuel efficiency, import of hybrid vehicles is increasing recently as demand is going higher gradually, a car businessman said.

“Hybrid vehicle is more fuel efficient than conventional one. A car can run 20-30 kilometers per liter of gasoline while the conventional one can run only 7 kilometers.” Habib Ullah Dawn, president of Bangladesh Reconditioned Vehicles Importers’ Association, said.

People are showing interest to buy hybrid cars since last year, as the government slashed import duty on used hybrid cars.

In the developed countries their governments promote use of hybrid cars, exempting or reducing road tax and interest rate of loan to buy hybrid and electric cars, he said.

The hybrid vehicles also reduce carbon emission in the atmospheres significantly as it burns fossil fuels less than that of gasoline-run vehicles, said Habib Ullah Dawn.

People will show more interest to buy hybrid cars instead of converting their vehicles to CNG-run mode, if the government reduces 50 percent cost on registration and road tax, he opined.

Reduction of interest rate on car loan can also encourage the people to buy hybrid vehicles, he said.

Bangladesh Bank can also introduce green loan for purchase of hybrid and electric vehicles as it can reduce carbon emission significantly.   

The prices of used hybrid cars are Tk2-3 lakh more than that of the conventional engine-run reconditioned cars.

A total 23,700 cars were imported last year. Of those, some 4,500 were hybrid cars, the businessman said.

A wide variety of hybrid vehicles are currently available in the markets. Of those, Full Hybrid, Plug-In Hybrid and Electric Vehicles are the popular models.

Full hybrid vehicles use rechargeable batteries and an electric motor in addition to the engine that runs on gasoline.