Price of petrol just touched ₹105 which is the highest ever and everyone who is planning to buy a car and does not want to go with the conventional petrol or diesel options is in a dilemma. Prices of cars have already increased due to the unavailability of micro chips and shortage of semiconductors and with the exuberant petrol and diesel prices, there is a very big chance that your petrol cost for the month will exceed the EMI of your car. So, what if you don't want to spend so much money on conventional fuel? The two most efficient option that you are left with are CNG and Electric Vehicles.

While there is no doubt that electric is the future, you just can not ignore the relevance of CNG. It has been in use since years and the infrastructure for CNG is much more developed than what it is for Electric cars. The CNG tank for most of the private cars has a capacity of 8 kgs of gas and the price for 1 kg of gas is almost ₹50, so you have a full tank for just ₹400 and a CNG car will give you anywhere around 25-30 km/kg in city with air conditioning on. That leaves you paying just ₹2.5-₹3 per kilometre which is extremely cheap compared to a normal petrol car. But CNG comes with its own disadvantages, one of the biggest disadvantage is that the CNG kit eats almost all of the trunk space leaving you with very limited space for your luggage. The next big disadvantage of a CNG car is the wait in the long queues for getting the CNG filled. In peak hours you might have to wait for 30-45 minutes to get your tank filled which some people just can not afford. And the 3rd big disadvantage is the driving experience of a CNG car. Let's take take the example of MS Celerio, it has a 1.0 litre engine which produces 67 bhp but with CNG, you just get 55 bhp which is disappointing for any driving enthusiast out there. And the 4th big disadvantage is that the life of CNG a car is considerably less than a normal petrol car and that is because CNG takes a hefty load on the engine of a car reducing its life by almost 3-6 years. So, if you want you car for long term usage, let's say 10-15 years, then CNG might not be the right choice for you.

If the main requirement for you is the cost per kilometre then the only option cheaper than a CNG car is an EV.  If you take your electric car at a fast charging station for charging, it'll cost you just ₹120-₹150 to get it fully charged. Talking about the cost per kilometre, an electric car will just take ₹1/km! Which is less than half of what you pay for CNG. And how can we not talk about how fun to drive an electric car. The acceleration of an electric car is unmatched. No petrol car in same price range will ever give you the thrill of acceleration of an electric car. The next big advantage will be the smoothness with which an electric car runs. Since there is no engine or gears, there are almost jerks and noise while driving an electric car, you won't even realise that you've started the car since they are completely silent, the NVH levels are also unmatched. The infrastructure for electric cars is developing at a good rate but sadly not at the rate that we might expect. There are still very limited charging stations in the cities and almost negligible in rural areas. Although we can expect a big increase in the infrastructure as companies like Tata have promised to set up more than 10000 charging station by 2025 but all this still remains to be seen. You can still charge your electric car at home but that might take you anywhere around 8-12 hours depending on the power supply at your locality. So, if you forget to leave your car to charge in the night and you have office the next day, you better find an alternate way to reach your office. The other big disadvantage is the price that you pay for an electric car. Let's us take the example of Nexon EV which is one of the most selling EVs in India. A petrol Nexon starts at ₹7.49 lakhs while its electric model i.e Nexon EV starts at ₹13.99 lakhs, which is almost double. Recovering this cost will depend on how much you drive your EV. Another disadvantage is the the 'Range Anxiety' that comes along with buying an EV. Range of an EV will be lesser when you are driving on a highway compared to the city as when you drive in a city, you keep applying the brakes in city traffic which helps in regeneration of power by the batteries while there is minimum breaking on a highway therefore, no energy is regenerated. There are a fair share of charging station on famous highways like the Mumbai-Pune highway but for the most highways, you're totally on your luck. And the third major disadvantage of buying an EV is the replacement cost of replacing the battery. Most of the EVs come with a battery warranty of around 6-8 years but if something happens to the battery after that period, you might end up spending anywhere between 3-5 lakhs for a new battery, yes you read it right sir. And as of now, companies like Tata and MG haven't announced any extended warranty packages for EVs. So, you're on your own if something happens to your battery after the warranty expires, although you can expect better warranty packages in future.

After reading all this, one thing is clear i.e. that none of these options are perfect, they both have their disadvantages and advantages. So, if you were to ask me which one you should go for, CNG or an EV, I'll ask whether you are planning to buy a primary or a secondary car. If you are planning to buy a primary car, go for a CNG car because it will give you the peace of mind which you might not get with an EV as you can get the CNG filled easily from your nearest CNG station and in normal city usage the power of CNG car should be enough. But if you are planning to buy a secondary car, go for an EV. The charging of an EV will easily last you 4-7 days with normal usage and you can enjoy the driving pleasure and the range anxiety would not be a very big issue either.