Petrol vs Diesel vs Electric Car - Total Cost Of Ownership Comparison!

Let's try to compare the cost of owning a petrol, diesel and an electric car over a period of 5 years. For this, let's look at three simple scenarios. We will see how much a person spends on the ownership over a period of 5 years. This will include regular vehicle servicing, fuel, insurance and other maintenance costs. Ideally, we would be able to decide which drivetrain is the most practical option. To make this comparison fair, we are considering at the initial cost of the Nexon, the only car currently available in India with all three powertrains viz. petrol, diesel and electric.

Total Cost of Owning a Petrol Car

A person goes and buys a car with a petrol engine. He regularly drives about 10,000 kilometers a year. Now petrol engines are easy to maintain and repair. Given that nothing unfortunate happened, we can calculate the cost of safely operating a petrol car. We will take into account regular maintenance, minor repair costs and changing components and tyres. Apart from the financial resources, we will also take into account the ease of practicality, for example, the ease of repairing petrol cars, the availability of fuel, and the time or difficulty of finding a service center across the country.

To make a fair comparison, we fixed that in all three scenarios, it is the same vehicle that is available with petrol, diesel and electric engines.

In our case, the petrol powertrain for this car (let's say Nexon) costs Rs 9 lacs. For a car at this price, a normal service costs about Rs 8000. If we consider a normal fuel consumption of about 17 km per 10,000 km, then we need about 590 liters of fuel. Assuming a standard cost of about Rs 81 per liter, the total fuel cost for one year is Rs 48,000. Insurance cost for the first year is Rs 27,000. This amounts to Rs 9,83,000 for the first year. Let's look at the cost of ownership for the next five years.

All values in Rs. 2nd Year 3rd Year 4th Year 5th Year
Cost of Fuel 49,000 51,000 53,000 55,000
Cost of Insurance 23,000 19,000 16,000 12,000
Cost of Maintenance/Service 9,000 13,000 11,000 15,000
Total Cost after 5 years       Rs. 13,09,000


It is also interesting to mention here that the maintenance cost for the third year is high because we considered changing components after 30,000 km, eg tyres, brake pads, etc.

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Total cost of ownership for a diesel car

In this scenario, the same person buys the same car with a diesel engine (such as a Nexon Diesel). So we will update our data accordingly. Diesel engines for the same cars are usually about Rs 1 more expensive than the petrol model. So the cost of our car is Rs 10 lacs. The cost of insurance is almost the same, but we can assume that it is 28,000 rupees due to the high cost of the car. The cost of the service is 10,000 rupees. A diesel car for the same 10,000 kilometers needs about 480 liters of diesel, given a decent fuel consumption of 21 kilometers per second. Now diesel can cost around 70 rupees per liter. The total fuel cost for the first year is 34,000 rupees. Therefore, the total cost for the first year is Rs 10,62,000. As before, let's count the next five years.

All values in Rs. 2nd Year 3rd Year 4th Year 5th Year
Cost of Fuel 36,000 38,000 40,000 42,000
Cost of Insurance 24,000 20,000 16,000 13,000
Cost of Maintenance/Service 11,000 15,000 13,000 17,000
Total Cost after 5 years       Rs 13,47,000


The total cost of owning an electric car

Here we assume that a person buys an electric vehicle (let's say a Nexon EV) from the same segment as petrol and diesel. As it is quite expensive at the moment, it will cost you around Rs 15 lacs. Now the declared mileage/range of the vehicle is 300 km per charge. One charge consumes 20 units of electricity. This means that 3,350 units are needed for 50,000 km over 5 years.

Given that one unit of electricity costs Rs 7, the total cost of electricity for 5 years will be Rs 24,000. Insurance can be assumed for Rs 40,000 for the first year, Rs 37,000, Rs 33,000, Rs 29,000 and Rs 25,000 for the second, third, fourth and fifth years respectively. Service/maintenance costs are not significant for electric vehicles and can be safely assumed at Rs 25,000 for 5 years. Thus, the total cost of owning an electric vehicle or EV for 5 years is around Rs 17,13,000.

Conclusion- Ownership Cost of Petrol VS Diesel VS Electric Car

Although we could have assumed a lot, it still gives you a clear idea of ​​the cost of ownership if you bought a petrol, diesel or electric car today. Now, we also have to take into account that petrol and diesel prices will only rise in the future. On the other hand, the range and efficiency of batteries will increase. Therefore, in the long run, the cost of owning an electric car or electric car will be lower. But over time, Petrol and diesel engines will require a lot of care and maintenance, which will significantly increase maintenance costs.

We hope this gives you a brief idea of ​​the costs of ownership, whether you are planning to buy a petrol, diesel or electric car.


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