Different Types of Fuels Used in Vehicles in India

Top 6 Types of Vehicle Fuels Used in India

1. Petrol

Petrol, also known as gasoline, is one of the most common fuel types for a vehicle. It is transparent and is derived via the fractional distillation of petroleum.  It is used in spark-ignited combustion engines and is available in multiple variants. 

Let's take a look at its pros and cons –

Pros

  • It is cost-effective.
  • Provides optimum acceleration.
  • Petrol stations are easily available.
  • Suitable for all types of ranges.

Cons

  • This fuel emits a high level of toxic gases.
  • It offers lower mileage than diesel.

Ideal for: 4-wheeler private cars, bikes

Price per litre: It is important to remember that the cost of gasoline differs in each state. Here is the table comprising the respective petrol prices in different Indian cities –

Cities

Petrol Price Per Litre as on 6 Sept, 2021

Kolkata

₹102.08

Mumbai

₹ 107.83

Chennai

₹ 101.49

New Delhi

₹101.84

Bangalore

₹105.25

2. Diesel

Despite the current scenario, diesel consumption witnessed recovery with a 27% rise. This speaks volumes about the popularity of this fuel. Like petrol, diesel is also obtained from the fractional distillation of petroleum oil that is specially tailored for a diesel engine.

Pro

  • Offers value-for-money and is efficient for long travels.
  • Features high torque and delivers excellent performance on express lane.
  • It offers enhanced acceleration.

Cons

  • Diesel engines require high maintenance and hence incur whopping expenses.
  • A diesel engine does not cater to every make and model.

Ideal for: Trucks, trains, public buses

Price per litre:  Like petrol, diesel prices differ in each state. Here is a table for your reference –

Cities

Diesel Price Per Litre as on 6 Sept, 2021

Kolkata

₹93.02

Mumbai

₹97.45

Chennai

₹94.39

New Delhi

₹89.87

Bangalore

₹94.86

3. Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)

CNG or Compressed Natural Gas comprises compressed methane less than 1% by volume.  It is one of the emerging fuel types for a car in urban areas with the primary objective to reduce pollution.

Pros

  • It is free from lead and sulphur and is popularly known as "Green Fuel."
  • Features a high auto-ignition temperature (540 degrees Celsius) and limited flammability range of 5%-15%. It implies that 5%-15% of CNG concentration in the air will not lead to accidental burning, thus, ensuring safety.
  • It is safe to use as it is stored in certified cylinders, which are leak-proof. Since it is a light gas, it disperses and mixes with the air if it leaks.

Cons

  • Limited availability of CNG stations, unlike petrol or diesel stations.
  • It occupies at least 1/3rd of the vehicle's boot space. This makes it difficult for a sedan or other car owners to load the luggage in the cargo space.
  • A CNG's car performance deteriorates after 3 to 4 years of usage. The engine's optimum performance also decreases by 10% after regular use for one year.
  • It hampers the functionality of fuel injectors, making them dry quickly. It deteriorates engine performance in the long run.
  • A CNG-powered vehicle has a lower fuel economy compared to other vehicles.
  • The cost of conversion from conventional petrol or diesel-powered cars to CNG is high.

Ideal for: It is widely used in passenger cars. Models like Audi A5 2,0 TFSI CNG and BMW 3 Series (E36) can run on CNG.  Besides, vans, buses, trucks and more are suitable to run on CNG.

Price per litre: The following table illustrates the costs of CNG in 5 metropolitan cities in India –

Cities

CNG Price Per Litre as on 6 Sept, 2021

Kolkata

₹35.71

Mumbai

₹44.22

Chennai

₹50.1

New Delhi

₹46.60

Bangalore

₹46.60

4. Bio-Diesel

The mixture of diesel with other oils produces bio-diesel. Converting vegetable oil, animal fat, and waste cooking oil into bio-diesel is known as transesterification. Since it constitutes natural ingredients, it is one of the best alternatives for biofuel.

Pros

  • Environment-friendly and emits 11% lower carbon monoxide compared to other fuels.
  • It features lower flashpoints and burns at a higher temperature. The storage of this fuel is simple as there is a lesser risk of sudden ignition.
  • It is a non-toxic and renewable source of energy and, hence, ensures sustainability.
  • Helps increase the lifespan of an engine. It acts as a solvent to remove the dirt deposited in the engine and restore its optimum performance, preventing frequent wear and tear.
  • Vehicle-owners can use it in diesel engines with or without any modifications.
  • This fuel reduces dependency on foreign countries for oil imports.

Cons

  • It is not suitable for use in lower temperatures as it is susceptible to gelling. Gelling is a process in which a fuel's paraffin component solidifies and forms a gel-like part in colder temperatures.
  • Although bio-diesel’s advantages include removing dirt from the engine, this dirt gets clogged into the gasket, leading to damage. It also damages an engine's rubber houses.
  • The fuel efficiency of a bio-diesel powered vehicle is lower than others. It reduces fuel efficiency by 1%-2%.
  • It is more expensive than petroleum.
  • Bio-diesel is made from animal fat, vegetable oil, and the like. It affects food supply and increases the prices of the given products, leading to food shortages.
  • It has regional restrictions as specific crop productions are not possible in every region.

Ideal for: Diesel-powered vehicles are fit to run on bio-diesel. Specifically manufactured trucks, vans, and SUVs are also approved to run on bio-diesel.

Price per litre: Here are the costs of bio-diesel in each metropolitan city –

Cities

Bio-diesel Price Per Litre as on 6 Sept, 2021

Kolkata

₹71.12

Mumbai

₹70.56

Chennai

₹68

New Delhi

₹69.44

Bangalore

₹67.2

5. Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG)

LPG or Liquid Petroleum Gas is obtained from crude oil and natural gas. It constitutes hydrocarbon gases such as propane and butane.

Pros

  • The high octane content in Auto LPG ensures a vehicle's optimum performance.
  • LPG removes the carbon and acids from the engine, extending its longevity.
  • It saves up to 40% of running costs compared to petrol and is safe from spillage.
  • It emits 75% less carbon monoxide than petroleum and 60% less carbon dioxide than diesel.
  • The conversion cost of LPG is affordable compared to CNG.
  • It features anti-knocking characteristics, facilitating a higher octane number.

Cons 

  • It is heavier than air. Hence, in case of leakage, it creates a suffocating environment.
  • It has 10% lower fuel efficiency than petrol.
  • Storage of LPG requires heavy cylinders, which ultimately increases the weight of the engine.

Ideal for: It is suitable for light-duty bio-fuel vehicles. Specific brands like Chevrolet and Maruti Suzuki manufacture LPG-powered cars in India.

Price per litre: Take a look at the costs of Auto LPG in each metropolitan city –

Cities

LPG Price Per Litre as on 6 Sept, 2021

Kolkata

₹51.65

Mumbai

₹37.3

Chennai

₹51.16

New Delhi

₹52.08

Bangalore

₹38.848

6. Ethanol or Methanol

List of Different Types of Fuels Used in Vehicles

Fuel Type

Best for Vehicles

Average Price Per Litre in Delhi (6th Sept-2021)

Gasoline

4 wheeler cars, bikes

₹101.84

Diesel

Trucks, trains, public buses

₹ 89.87

CNG

Passenger cars, buses, vans, trucks

₹44.23

Bio-Diesel

Diesel-powered vehicles, and specially manufactured vans, trucks and SUVs

₹69.44

Liquid Petroleum Gas

Light-duty bio-fuel vehicles

₹52.08

Ethanol or Methanol

Used in racing cars. It is blended with gasoline for use in existing on-road vehicles

₹45.69 (C-heavy molasses) ₹57.61 (B-heavy molasses)

Disclaimer: The price of fuels keeps fluctuating. Hence, experts recommend checking the websites from time to time to get an accurate update on these prices.

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