Toyota Corolla Altis CNG Version This Year

TMT has confirmed that it will have a bi-fuel version of the 10th generation Corolla Altis by the end of 2008. The car will retain its regular E20 fuel system and tank, adding to it a CNG (compressed natural gas) system with a 70-litre tank in the boot. As with current Taxi conversions this will result in about 1/4 - 1/3 reduction in boot space.

The tank will also increase the weight of the vehicle by around 100 kg, and Toyota will replace the rear coils springs with stiffer coils from the Corolla wagon which is around the same weight as this CNG version.

Although this car is primarily targeting the local taxi market, it seems that there would be logic behind offing a regular consumer version also, and even exporting to other markets such as Singapore.

The CNG Altis will be using the 1.6 litre engine. The gas version of the 9th generation Corolla being used as taxis in Thailand is badged "Limo" and is quite a cut down version, sitting below the "J" base model in terms of specification. If the new CNG Altis is to attract customers from outside the taxi industry, it will really need to be offered with a higher trim level.

With the global oil price sitting well above $100 a barrel ($108 at time of writing), and showing no signs of dropping off, it makes sense for Thailand to make a move away from oil. Gas is the obvious choice given that Thailand has a local supply. Gasohol and E20 might be cheaper that regular petrol, but when gas is just 8.50 a kg, and LPG is THB 10.15 a litre compared to THB 28.59 for the much hyped E20, the price difference card doesn't really work in the favour of E20.