Electric Vehicles Vs. Petrol-Powered Cars: In-Depth Cost Comparison

Buying a car is a challenging task as you have endless options to choose from. And now, to make things trickier, there is another option—electric vehicles! With more and more manufacturers launching electric cars in India, it is worth considering as an option. But before that, you have to know how an EV fares against a conventional petrol car to make an informed decision. This article will address this question as we provide you with an in-depth insight on electric cars vs petrol cars.

1. Initial Purchase Cost

  • Petrol Vehicle: Petrol cars in India generally have a lower upfront cost compared to electric vehicles due to the relatively established internal combustion engine technology.
  • Electric Vehicle: Electric vehicles have a higher initial purchase cost due to the cost of batteries and electric drivetrain technology. However, government subsidies and incentives can help offset this cost.

2. Fuel Costs:

  • Petrol Vehicle: Petrol prices in India can be volatile and vary across states and cities. Fuel costs constitute a significant portion of the overall cost of owning a petrol vehicle.
  • Electric Vehicle: Electric vehicles have lower fuel costs in India due to the cheaper cost of electricity per kilometer compared to petrol. Charging at home or using public charging stations can be cost-effective. 

3. Maintenance and Repairs

  • Petrol Vehicle: Petrol vehicles require regular maintenance, including oil changes, air filter replacements, and other engine-related services.
  • Electric Vehicle: Electric vehicles have fewer moving parts and require less frequent maintenance. There’s no need for oil changes, and brake wear is reduced due to regenerative braking.

4. Depreciation

  • Petrol Vehicle: Petrol vehicles generally depreciate faster due to the fast-paced introduction of newer models and changing consumer preferences.
  • Electric Vehicle: Electric vehicles might depreciate more slowly as the Indian electric vehicle market continues to evolve, and awareness and demand increase.

5. Government Incentives

  • Petrol Vehicle: There are typically no significant government incentives for owning a petrol vehicle in India.
  • Electric Vehicle: The Indian government offers incentives such as the FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles) scheme, reduced GST rates, and state-level benefits to promote electric vehicle adoption.


Petrol Car vs. Electric Vehicle Analysis – TATA Nexon

AspectTATA Nexon PetrolTATA Nexon EV
Ex – Showroom Price₹994,900.00₹1,630,000.00
Registration Charges₹600.00₹600.00
Hypothecation Endorsement₹1,500.00₹1,500.00
Road Safety Cess₹1,791.00₹2,934.00
Other Charges₹400.00₹400.00
Total Cost (C)₹1,123,179.00₹1,721,534.00
Savings (S)₹598,355.00None

Now the initial purchase cost of Tata Nexon is lesser than the EV version but now lets analyse how long it will take for this initial extra cost to recover

  • Analysis Years: 8.00
  • Per Day Running Kms: 50.00
  • Per Year Running Kms: 18,250.00
Per Km Cost₹7.00₹0.70
Avg. Service & Maint Cost₹7,500.00₹6,000.00
Avg. Insurance Cost₹10,000.00₹16,000.00

Cost Of Running Analysis- 8 Years

Service & Maint. Cost 2,40,0002,96,000
Fuel Cost10,22,0001,22,000
Average Insurance CostRs. 4,00,000Rs. 6,40,000
Total Running Cost (R)16,62,00010,58,000

And as we know that the initial costs of purchasing the vehicle were ₹994,900.00 and ₹1,630,000

Overall cost of the vehicle is

For EV- Rs.16,62,000+ Rs. 994,900.00= Rs. 26,24,900
For Petrol Vehicle- Rs. 10,58,000+Rs. 1,630,000= Rs. 26,88,000

So to recover cost of the electric vehicle and finally make it a profitable investment for you it will take 8 years.

Way Forward

The vital question to be addressed here is—should you buy an electric car or a petrol car? It entirely depends on your requirements and geographical location. Electric vs petrol car is the talk of the town in the Indian automotive market. But in the end, it’s your requirement that matters to make a choice.

If you are looking for daily commute

If you reside in a metro city and driving involves just commuting to your work, an EV can be a practical solution, provided you are willing to pay the price it demands.

If you are looking for all-in-one car

If you are looking for a do-it-all car that offers punchy performance, then an EV might not be a sensible option. Remember that the charging infrastructure is not in place at a large-scale level, and thus, charging the car can be a challenge. Also, you can buy a petrol car at affordable prices and save some money. To sum it up, EVs are not a bad option considering the current scenario, but they can’t be your ‘only’ car.

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