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

Let us try to compare the ownership cost of Petrol, a Diesel and an Electric car over a period of 5 years. For this, let us consider three simple scenarios. And we will look at how much the person spends on the ownership over a period of 5 years. This will include the regular servicing of the vehicle, fuel, insurance and other maintenance costs. Ideally, we shall able to conclude which powertrain is the most practical choice. To make this comparison fair, we are considering the initial cost of the car of a Nexon which is the only car at the moment which is available in India in all three powertrains viz. petrol, diesel and electric.

Total Cost Of Ownership Of A Petrol Car

A person goes and buys a car with a petrol engine car. He drives regularly about 10,000 km a year. Now, petrol engines are easy to maintain and service. Considering nothing unfortunate happens, we can safely calculate the running cost of the petrol car. We will take into account, the regular servicing, minor repair costs, change of components and tyres. Apart from the finances, we will also take into consideration the ease of practicality, for example, how easily are petrol cars repaired, how readily the fuel is available and how time-consuming or difficult it is to find a service centre across the country.

Also read: How Electric Car segment is evolving in India!

For a fair comparison, we have fixed, that in all the three scenarios, it is the same car which is available in petrol, diesel and electric powertrains.

In our instance, the petrol powertrain of this car (say Nexon) costs Rs 9 lacs. For a car around this price point, the regular service costs around Rs 8,000. If we consider a normal fuel mileage of around 17 kmpl for 10,000 km, we require about 590 litres of fuel. Assuming a standard cost of around Rs 81 per litre, our total fuel cost for 1 year comes out to be Rs 48,000. The insurance cost for the first year is Rs 27,000. This amounts to Rs 9,83,000 for the first year. Let us see the ownership cost for the next 5 years.

All values in Rs.2nd Year3rd Year4th Year5th Year
Cost of Fuel49,00051,00053,00055,000
Cost of Insurance23,00019,00016,00012,000
Cost of Maintenance/Service9,00013,00011,00015,000
Total Cost after 5 yearsRs. 13,09,000

It is also interesting to mention here that the cost of maintenance for the 3rd year is high because we have considered a change of components after 30,000 km, for example, tyres, brake pads, etc.

Total Cost Of Ownership Of A Diesel Car

In this scenario, the same person buys the same car with a diesel powertrain (say Nexon Diesel). So we will update our data accordingly. Normally diesel powertrains for the same cars are around Rs 1 lac more expensive than the petrol variant. So our cost of the vehicle is Rs 10 lacs. The insurance cost is almost similar, but we can assume it to be Rs 28,000 because of the higher vehicle cost. The service costs Rs 10,000. For the same 10,000 km a diesel car requires around 480 litres of diesel, considering a decent fuel mileage of 21 kmpl. Now, diesel can cost around Rs 70 per litre. The total cost of fuel for the first year comes out to be Rs 34,000. Therefore, the total cost for the first year amounts to Rs 10,62,000. Like before, let us calculate for the next 5 years.

Also read: New 100 Octane fuel launched in India!

All values in Rs.2nd Year3rd Year4th Year5th Year
Cost of Fuel36,00038,00040,00042,000
Cost of Insurance24,00020,00016,00013,000
Cost of Maintenance/Service11,00015,00013,00017,000
Total Cost after 5 years13,47,000

Total Cost Of Ownership Of An Electric Car

Here we assume that the person buys an electric vehicle (say Nexon EV) of the same segment as petrol and diesel. Being very expensive at the moment, it costs him around Rs 15 lacs. Now, the claimed mileage/range of the car is 300 km per charge. 1 charge takes 20 units of electricity. That means it will take 3350 units for 50,000 km over 5 years.

Considering, a unit of electricity costs Rs 7, the total cost for electricity for 5 years will be Rs 24,000. The insurance can be assumed at Rs 40,000 for the first year, Rs 37,000, Rs 33,000, Rs 29,000 and Rs 25,000 for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th year respectively. The service/maintenance costs are not too much for the EVs and can safely be assumed at Rs 25,000 for 5 years. Therefore, the total cost of ownership of an electric car or EV for 5 years amounts to around Rs 17,13,000.

Conclusion- Ownership Cost of Petrol VS Diesel VS Electric Car

Although we might have assumed a lot of things, it still gives you a fair idea about the cost of ownership if you buy petrol, diesel or an electric vehicle today. Now, we must also consider that the prices for petrol and diesel will only go up in the future. On the other hand, the range and efficiency of batteries will only go up. So in even longer terms, the ownership cost of an EV or electric car will be less. But as time passes the petrol and diesel powertrains will require a lot of care and maintenance, shooting the maintenance costs up significantly.

We hope this gives you a brief idea about the ownership costs, if you are planning to buy petrol, diesel or electric vehicle.