Different Types of Fuels Used in Vehicles in India

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 30/10/2023

Diesel, petrol, and CNG are the most commonly used fuels in India. But if you think these are the only fuels that are in use, you are wrong.

You will be amazed to know that many other types of fuels are used to run vehicles in the country. What are those? That’s exactly what we are going to reveal in this blog.

We will discuss different fuel types for cars and other automobiles, along with understanding the pros and cons of each.

So, if you want to know more, keep scrolling!

How Many Types of Fuels Are There?

There are various types of fuels for cars across the globe. Following are the most common fuel types for cars in India:

Petrol or Gasoline

At present, petrol is the most popular fuel used to run vehicles. Also known as gasoline, it is produced by the distillation process of petroleum oils. Not only does it offer higher efficiency, but it is also economical than diesel. Further, there are different types of petrols available for different vehicles. Two of the most popular types of petrol in India are premium petrol and regularl petrol. While normal petrol is used for a majority of vehicles, premium petrol is suitable for high-compression engines.

Advantages of Petrol:

Petrol-based cars are cheaper than their diesel variants.

High combustion rate for quick start

Enhanced acceleration

Quiet operation

Disadvantages of Petrol

Caused more pollution than other fuels

Non-renewable source of energy

Not efficient for larger vehicles

Higher cost

Low fuel efficiency as compared to diesel

Diesel

Diesel is another one of the common fuel types in India. It is also obtained by the fraction distillation of petroleum but is slightly heavier than petrol. The reason behind its heaviness is that it is obtained at a lower temperature as compared to other fuels.

While the price difference between petrol and diesel is almost the same, diesel is highly preferred for a variety of vehicles.

From SUVs and passenger vehicles to large buses and trucks, diesel remains the top choice of drivers due to its higher fuel efficiency.

Another reason behind the popularity of diesel is that it offers a great amount of torque at low RPMs, allowing vehicles to deal with heavy loads.

Advantages of Diesel

Great value for money as compared to petrol-based vehicles

Diesel-based engines require low maintenance and have a longer life.

Low carbon dioxide emission, making it a cleaner fuel than gasoline.

It offers high torque, making it suitable for heavy-loading vehicles.

Diesel cars offer a higher resale value as compared to petrol cars.

Disadvantages of Diesel

Diesel variants of cars are more expensive than their petrol counterparts.

Higher servicing cost

CNG

Compressed Natural Gas, popularly known as CNG, is another highly preferred car fuel type in the country. One of the major reasons behind its increasing popularity is its low carbon dioxide emission. For this reason, it comes in the category of environmentally friendly fuels. As its full form suggests, CNG contains methane as a natural gas, which offers sufficient combustion to lighter vehicles.

Advantages of CNG

Cheaper as compared to diesel and petrol

Eco-friendly as it doesn’t contain harmful sulfur and lead

Safe to use

Disadvantages of CNG

Offers lower performance as compared to gasoline engines

CNG cylinders take up extra space in the vehicles

Offer lower fuel economy.

It is not widely available.

Not suitable for heavier vehicles due to low performance

LPG

If you think that LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas) is only used for cooking, you need to think again. LPG is also used as a fuel for cars in India. As compared to petrol and diesel, LPG is cost-effective.

What’s more? It produces less carbon dioxide, making it less polluting fuel than its counterparts. Further, due to a higher octane rating, LPG boosts the engine life to a great extent.

Advantages of LPG

Obtained from natural gas, making it less polluting

Cheaper than types of petrol and diesel in India

Maintains engine life

Offers higher performance

Disadvantages of LPG

Offers lower fuel efficiency

The leakage of LPG is toxic for humans.

Doesn’t work for heavier vehicles

Bio-diesel

As the name suggests, bio-diesel is an eco-friendly alternative to regular diesel. It is obtained by combining diesel with natural oils such as animal fat, vegetable oil, cooking fat, and so on. Since it contains natural oils, it becomes a partially renewable source of energy, which is less polluting than petroleum fuels.

Advantages of Biodiesel

Eco-friendly alternative to petroleum-based fuels

It is a safe and sustainable fuel type.

Reduces wear and tear in the engine, leading to an increased lifespan

Biodiesel engines are compatible with diesel as well.

Disadvantages of Biodiesel

Offers lower fuel efficiency

Natural ingredients required for the production of biodiesel grow in specific regions, leading to poor availability.

Ethanol

Ethanol is gaining huge popularity as a car fuel due to its eco-friendly nature. It is obtained from sugarcane, making it a great renewable source of energy. At present, the fuels we use are blended with 10% ethanol. The good news is that the Indian government is planning to produce more ethanol as a replacement for the costly petrol and diesel.

Advantages of Ethanol

Renewable source of energy

Emits less carbon dioxide and nitrogen

Safe to use

Disadvantages of Ethanol

Offer low fuel efficiency.

Reduces the engine life by corroding them after intensive use

Which Fuel is Best?

After going through different types of fuels in India, you might be wondering which is the best fuel of all. Here is your answer:

As we have discussed, each fuel type has its own advantages and disadvantages. Thus, the choice of the best fuel type depends on the type of vehicle and its usage. Based on these factors, we have listed different types of vehicles with the most suitable fuel type for them.

We have also mentioned the price of different fuels for a better understanding. Check out the below table:

Type of Fuel Suitable For Average Price in Delhi (in ₹)*
Petrol Cars and motorbikes ₹96.72
Diesel SUVs, buses, trucks, tractors, trains and other heavy vehicles  ₹89.62
CNG Taxis, auto, public buses and vans ₹73.59
LPG Lighter vehicles  ₹52.52
Biodiesel  All the vehicles powered by diesel ₹69.4
Ethanol All types of vehicles after blending with petrol ₹65.60
*As of October 16, 2023.

Does the Type of Fuel Impact Motor Insurance Cost?

Another question that tends to confuse a majority of vehicle owners is whether or not the fuel type impacts the cost of their insurance. The answer is yes.

Some car insurance providers consider the vehicle's fuel type when quoting its insurance cost. Some may provide special discounts for vehicles that run on environmentally friendly fuel. However, this is not always the case. The impact of fuel type on insurance cost depends on the type of policy and the two-wheeler or four-wheeler insurance provider.

Nevertheless, it doesn’t matter what type of fuel you use; it is mandatory to have insurance for all vehicles in India. If found without a valid insurance certificate, you might have to face heavy penalties. So, buy your insurance today from a reliable partner like Tata AIG.

Confused between multiple insurance policies? It is recommeded to compare car insurance policies based on your requirements and budget and buy one accordingly.

Final Words

We have discussed various types of car fuels including different types of petrol and diesel in India. We have also outlined the pros and cons of each alongside their current price in the country.

Understanding the different types of fuels available in the market helps you make the right selection for your vehicle. By choosing the right fuel, you can ensure a higher efficiency and smooth operation and enjoy a safe driving experience.

Since we are talking about a safe driving experience, don’t forget to buy car insurance for your vehicle regardless of the fuel it runs on. The right insurance policy is indispensable for your and your vehicle’s safety.

FAQs

How is premium fuel different from petrol?

Premium fuel or premium petrol has a higher octane level as compared to the octane level of petrol. Numerically, the octane level of premium fuel ranges between 93-95, whereas it is around 86-87 for normal petrol.

Which is the best company to buy petrol in India?

Bharat Petroleum, Hindustan Petroleum, and Indian Oil are among India's most trusted companies to buy petrol. Three of them are market leaders who own the majority of the industry.

Are EVs better than petrol and diesel cars?

EVs are considered a better alternative to conventional fuel as they are eco-friendly and offer great efficiency.

Is it true that biodiesel is not suitable for lower temperatures?

Biodiesel contains natural oils that tend to become gel-like under cold climates. They have a high viscosity, making them unsuitable for use in lower temperatures.

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