CNG car vs petrol car: Which one to choose?

  • CNG-powered cars have been witnessing a rapid surge in demand across India over the last few years, due to a couple of factors.
Ertiga
CNG-powered cars have been witnessing a rapid surge in demand across India over the last few years, due to a couple of factors.
Ertiga
CNG-powered cars have been witnessing a rapid surge in demand across India over the last few years, due to a couple of factors.

With the growing focus on greener fuel solutions, electric vehicles are finding a growing footprint across India. At the same time, substantially higher prices of electric vehicles are driving many car buyers towards other alternatives and here comes the CNG. Compressed Natural Gas or CNG-propelled cars have been witnessing a rising demand and sales across the country over the last few years.

This high demand and sales for CNG cars are fuelled by several factors. CNG is significantly cheaper than petrol or diesel, while at the same time, it offers much better fuel efficiency. Another interesting fact is that CNG-propelled cars usually come with a petrol-CNG combination, allowing the vehicle to run on both petrol and CNG. This means, that CNG-fuelled cars are cheaper than electric vehicles when it comes to the upfront cost, as well as they offer a significantly lower cost of ownership.

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For the new car buyers, it is a common confusion whether to buy a petrol-only car or a petrol-CNG car. Here's an explainer to help you decide.

Petrol-only cars vs petrol-CNG cars

Petrol is usually priced much higher than CNG. This results in a higher cost of ownership or running cost for petrol-only cars. The upfront costs for petrol-only cars are lower than petrol-CNG models. Maintenance costs for petrol-only cars are lower than for petrol-CNG models. The availability of a larger number of petrol refuelling stations is an advantage for petrol-only cars.

When it comes to petrol-CNG cars, they offer lower running costs than petrol-only models. The reason behind this is that the driver can select to drive the car in CNG mode instead of petrol, which ensures higher mileage. However, the upfront costs for the petrol-CNG models are a bit higher than their petrol-only counterparts. When it comes to maintenance, the costs for that are higher for the petrol-CNG models as these vehicles come with a more complex technology combining both the petrol and CNG powertrain mechanisms. Lack of availability of CNG refilling stations is an issue faced by the owners of the petrol-CNG cars.

ParametresPetrol-onlyPetrol-CNG
Fuel priceHighLow
Upfront costLowHigh
Running costHighLow
Maintenance costLowHigh
Environment friendlinessLowHigh
Power outputHighLow
Fuel efficiencyLowHigh
Fuel availabilityHighLow
Availability of car modelsHighLow

Power output is an issue for the CNG cars, as power drops in CNG mode compared to petrol mode. However, as the passenger vehicles in India that come equipped with CNG kits, also come equipped with a petrol powertrain, it is a negligible point.

Both petrol-only and petrol-CNG cars have their own advantages and disadvantages. You should decide on your vehicle after considering both these factors.

First Published Date: 23 Nov 2023, 10:47 AM IST
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