Electric Cars vs Diesel Cars - Which One Should You Choose?

Team CARS24
Team CARS24

Updated on: 2nd February, 2024 IST

Electric Cars vs Diesel Cars - Which One Should You Choose

Picking the right car for yourself is often a pretty Herculean task. A big reason for this is the kind of options almost every segment offers. From various brands to trim levels and even engine variants – there is just too much to choose from. While this is only a good thing for car buyers, the other side of the coin is that an average car buyer gets really confused choosing between so many options. Let’s look at the most basic division between every car model – engine variants.

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Many mainstream cars these days offer more than just one engine option. For example, the Tata Nexon is available in diesel as well as petrol. And then, there’s also an electric variant. Now, not long ago, the rule of the thumb used to be that anyone looking for low running costs should pick up diesel over petrol. However, with a huge increase in fuel prices, the same argument hardly makes sense. This is also true because of the influx of electric cars. Today, EVs offer pollution-free performance at a fraction of a price of a traditional car. So, in case you’re someone who’s planning to purchase a new car, our small comparison of electric car vs. diesel car should help you make an informed decision. 

Electric Cars vs. Diesel Cars - Pros and Cons


The first difference between an electric car and a diesel car is the price. Already, diesel cars are costlier than petrol cars, but electric cars are even costlier than diesel cars. Also, if there is someone who is not willing to spend anything over 12-13 lakh on a new car, they would have no choice but to pick up a diesel car. This is because the prices of the least expensive electric car in India start at Rs 11.99 lakh (ex-showroom), and this clearly means that many still can’t afford an EV. Also, even if you compare the prices of a diesel Nexon and an electric Nexon, there’s a considerable difference, and those who don’t wish to spend more will have no option but to purchase the diesel variant over the electric model. 

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Electric Cars vs. Diesel Cars

Running Cost

A litre of diesel today costs anything around Rs 90. In comparison, a unit of electricity in most metro cities doesn’t cost anything more than Rs 8. What this means is that running an electric car turns out to be a lot cheaper than a diesel car. Even with conservative estimates, the running cost of a conventional diesel car is around Rs 5 per kilometre. In comparison, an electric car costs just about Rs 0.5 to run a kilometre. This is clearly a 10 times advantage and what this also means is that one can easily recover the higher purchase price that he would have paid by choosing an electric car over a diesel model. 

Also Read: Pros and Cons of Electric Cars

Ease of Use

Now, this is one area where electric cars have a clear disadvantage when compared to a diesel car. With plenty of fuel stations around, it's very easy for user of a conventional car to tank up as and when he requires. On the other hand, even with the government's push for faster adoption of EVs, the infrastructure required to support electric cars is far from sufficient. This is also a reason for range anxiety, as most electric vehicle users fear running out of juice with no electric charging station on site. On the contrary, electric car users have charging stations installed at their homes, which means there is no requirement to trips to fuel stations. This is definitely a plus point of electric cars, but it's still not enough to overlook the lack of sufficient infrastructure.

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largest public EV charging station in Navi Mumbai


This is one area where an electric car has a clear advantage over a diesel car. Even with BS6 emission norms in play, diesel cars pollute far more than a petrol car and infinitely many more times than an electric car. This is simply because an electric car has zero tailpipe emissions. So, in case you drive an electric car over a diesel car, you're definitely doing your part to curb the ever-increasing pollution levels. The rising pollution levels, in fact, is among the biggest reasons for the government's push for faster adoption of electric cars.

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So, this was our quick electric cars vs. diesel cars comparison where we have compared the two types of vehicles on the basis of their running cost, ease of use, and price. We hope our little guide here will help you make a better car buying decision. Also, which one of the two types of cars do you plan to choose? Do let us know through the comments section below.

Are you planning to buy a used diesel or electric car/SUV? If so, then CARS24 can not only offer you a range of used hatchback and sedan cars to choose from but can also take care of all the necessary paperwork, including the RC transfer, absolutely free of cost. Not only this, but you can even put our used car value calculator to use in order to find out the accurate resale value of any used car in India.

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