If your business needs a large number of vehicles, you can plan to have a CNG fleet. But, this needs a substantial investment and therefore you may have to consider several factors before making this decision. While considering these factors, you may have to take inputs from the fleet manager of your company, from the operations department and also the finance manager. Once these departments give their nod, you need to go through a rigorous process for selecting the suppliers. In the selection process, you should take into account many aspects that include the suppliers’ qualifications also. Since your company will be making a huge investment for having a fleet of CNG vehicles, you must avoid mistakes that may turn out to be expensive. The risks involved should be least and there should be good and quick returns on the investments you make.
Factors to be considered while choosing a CNG vehicle supplier:
Non-OEM kit and the convert process may affect warranty of the manufacturer warranty
If the convert process is done by installing a non-OEM engine retrofit system, the warranty of the original manufacturer ceases. But, you need not worry about this because the items that are directly related to retrofit system will get engine warranty from the SVM. For other items, the original manufacturer’s warranty will continue to be in force. These points have been upheld even by courts.
Calibration may affect drivability
It is true that calibration may affect drivability. To overcome this problem, spark plugs have to be replaced at regular intervals. This will certainly improve the performance and increase drivability comforts.
Evaluation of technology
Whichever supplying company you choose, you should be certain that the fuel system has been assembled and is ready for testing. Only then, you can know if calibration affects the drivability. You must inquire from the company and know the quality processes they have put in place during manufacturing. The answers to these inquiries will help you evaluate the technological prowess of the company. Only after satisfying yourself about the company’s technological strength, you must go ahead and sign the contract.
You must know the support services that are available with the company. You must satisfy yourself about this aspect because your relationship with them begins only after you sign the contract.
Servicing of vehicles
You must get the vehicles serviced periodically. So, you must know from the company if they recommend any particular servicing company for getting this done. You must know the locations where the servicing company undertakes this task.
You must clearly understand the warranty provided by the company. You must also know how the kit and the convert process will affect the manufacturer’s warranty.
Background of the company
You should delve deep and study the background of the company. You should know from when they are into this business, their regular customers, etc. You can have a transparent discussion with them and inquire if they are ready to give any references. Any confident supplier who has an impeccable background will readily give references of their customers. You can make discreet inquiries with those customers to know the track record of the supplier.
Quality of engineering facilities available with the company
You should acquire the details of the types of engineering, manufacturing and also testing facilities available with the company. This can only prove the technological strength of the company.
Company’s safety testing and crash testing record
You must know the safety testing record of the company. You must also know their crash testing record. These are essential for being certain about the safety aspects, though no concrete evidence exists to prove that CNG cars are not safe.
Return on Investment
You must get good and quick returns from your investments. You can consult with the supplier and have a fool-proof method for measuring ROI. Many federal governments provide subsidies for using CNG vehicles. You should know if such a subsidy is available in your state. You must take this into consideration while calculating the ROI.
This article is authored by Mathew Clan, who is passionate about cars and likes to test drive and review all the new luxury ones. He owns four cars and uses fuel cards to manage his fuel expense with ease.