Historically, conversions of gas-powered vehicles (CNG) grew at the rate of increases in gasoline, its main competition.
However, in the last year,
the level of conversions has been falling despite the fact that the price of gasoline continues to rise.
The trend is reflected in the statistics of Enargas, the gas regulatory body: last year, there was a monthly average of 7,200
vehicle conversions and so far this year, that level has fallen to 4,400
Why are users not opting so much for the variant of switching the car to gas when it costs half that of other liquid fuels?
After the last increase that was applied last Thursday, the average price of
super gasoline in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires (CABA) went from $163.10 to $169.30
Meanwhile, premium gasoline increased from
$209.10 to $217.
CNG, meanwhile, has an average price of $92.31.
But there is a wide gap in the country: in the Federal Capital, where there are more charging stations, it costs $65;
on the GBA, $92;
in Córdoba, $105 and in Corrientes $110.
Among the reasons that explain the drop in conversions, CNG equipment producers explain that, despite the periodic adjustments that gasoline has, "it
continues to be very cheap."
Especially when compared to other countries.
"The price of gasoline has been rising below inflation. On the other hand, gas has followed the inflationary curve," explains Federico Baratella, president of the Argentine Chamber of Conversion Equipment Producers (CAPEC GNC).
This price situation means that many service stations that are dual (that is, they sell liquid fuels and CNG), since they cannot absorb the higher costs derived from the dispatch of gasoline, with prices regulated by the Government, transfer them to the
price of CNG that is free
"For this reason, the rise in gas was greater," they explain in CAPEC.
Another situation has to do with
the prices of the equipment that increased according to the rhythm of the dollar
, also on the rise.
According to Baratella, products such as steel or bronze used in equipment components increased a lot after the Russian-Ukrainian war, says Baratella.
Finally, another element that acts as an obstacle for users to access the equipment is
The conversions can be paid with the official Ahora 12 or 18 program but with 48% interest rates.
Although they are below inflation, "there are many people who do not have the card limits that allow them to access the equipment so easily," says Pablo Pombo, CAPEC secretary.
In any case, the use of CNG always has followers among motorists who use the car a lot and can amortize the investment in the installation of the equipment.
average price of a 5th generation CNG equipment
for a Fiat Cronos (one of the best-selling cars)
with a 60-liter tube costs about $220,000.
How are the yields of both systems?
How are the yields of both systems?
The average consumption is 11 km with a liter of gasoline.
That is to say, taking the values in the City of Buenos Aires: to travel 30,000 km, 2727 liters of gasoline are needed.
At $174 (a liter of super gasoline), $474,498 will be needed.
If instead, the calculation is made with premium gasoline (at a price of $219), the cost will be $597,213.
On the other hand, if CNG is used (1 mt3 yields approximately the same as 1 liter of gasoline) taking into account an average gas price of $75, the user will spend $204,525.
With which, traveling that distance (30,000 km),
the investment is amortized in one year.
12.9% of CNG cars currently circulate out of the total number of vehicles
, which already exceeds 14 million.