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EV or CNG car? Here’s a look at pros and cons of both types

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As year-end discounts pour in from car dealers, buyers are in a dilemma over what to buy: A fuel-based car, a CNG-run car or an electric vehicle. The rising prices of petrol and diesel have pushed buyers to think of more affordable vehicle options. As a result, there has been a steep rise in the sale of electric vehicles in the past year.

In November, 42,067 units of electric vehicles were sold compared to 12,858 units in the year-ago period and 38,715 units in October 2021, BusinessLine reported. The total registered sale of electric vehicles stood at 1.98 lakh units from April to November 2021.

Meanwhile, CNG vehicles have also registered a 56 percent rise in sales in the last eight months till November at 1,36,357 units.

Here’s a look at the pros and cons of both types of vehicles.

CNG cars: Pros and cons

Compressed natural gas or CNG is an alternative fuel option and some carmakers are offering its kits as a factory-fitment with some models. One of the primary benefits of a CNG vehicle is that it is cheaper in fitment and running costs compared to an electric vehicle. CNG vehicles produce slightly lower emissions than other ICE vehicles, and the price of CNG is lower compared to petrol and diesel. Buyers also have the option to run their CNG cars on petrol or diesel as well.

Although CNG offers greater fuel economy, it is not without drawbacks. The cylinder fitment occupies a lot of boot space and hardly leaves room for heavy luggage.

It is also difficult to find a CNG station beyond certain states or cities, making it difficult for owners to go on long rides.

Another drawback of CNG-based cars is that the fuel affects the performance of a vehicle over a period of time, reducing its power output, which can drop by 10 percent when compared to that of petrol or diesel cars.

Electric vehicles: Pros and cons

Electric vehicles have zero-emission and are environment friendly. They have received a major policy push in different states in their battle to tackle pollution. As a result, EVs come with introductory incentives such as waiver of RTO fees or road taxes, which make its ownership rewarding.

The running cost of EVs is the cheapest across vehicles. In certain cases, the running cost may be lesser than a rupee. Also, as there is zero maintenance, customers do not have to pay for periodic servicing.

One of the major drawbacks of electric vehicles is their price. They cost much higher than other cars due to the high cost of batteries.

“You will need to consider various things before you buy an EV, such as your spending priority,” The Economic Times quoted Kartikeya Singhee, Editorial Head of Girnarsoft, which runs the website, as saying.

Another challenge is the lack of EV infrastructure in the country. EVs require charging stations, which are few and far between in India. Electric vehicles can go around 400 km on a single charge. Although there are some stations run by private and public sector companies, it will take another five more years to establish a large enough network, ET said in a report.

Under the government’s Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid and) Electric vehicles (FAME) initiative, as many as 350 stations will be added in the second phase. Meanwhile, the Tata group has built 1,000 stations and are planning to set up 10,000 more in three years.

State-run IOCL has 448 EV charging stations and 30 battery swapping stations, which will go up to 10,000 in three years, while BP will set up 7,000 charging stations in the next few years.


(Edited by : Shoma Bhattacharjee)

First Published:  IST

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