Hyundai recently launched three more variants of the Hyundai Eon in both petrol and LPG form.

Which of these two fuels would be the right car for you? We break down the economics of running the Eon on either LPG or petrol.

The prices of the new variants of the Hyundai Eon start at Rs. 2.98 lakh for the D-Lite Plus, Rs. 3.12 lakh for the Era Plus and Rs. 3.42 lakh for Magna Plus variant in their standard petrol engine forms. Interestingly, these three cars can also be bought as LPG variants for about Rs. 27,000 extra per car. The advantage of opting for LPG instead of CNG is that these cars don’t lose out on boot space, and the initial purchase cost is lower (as CNG kits start from upwards of Rs. 45,000).

Is the LPG Eon variant worth it?

However, before you put down money on the LPG variant of the Eon, you need to decide if the economics of the LPG variant work out for you. The Hyundai Eon LPG variant has a 34 litre toroidal LPG tank fitted in the boot, which means the spare wheel space has been taken up.

While this doesn’t reduce boot space, the spare wheel will have to be stored in the luggage area of the boot instead of under the floor and that does eat into some space. One way to solve this problem is to do away with the spare wheel altogether and carry a portable tyre inflator (which runs off your car’s 12 V power socket).

The larger issue, however, is if the running cost of the Eon on LPG is going to be significantly lower than running on petrol. For comparison’s sake let’s look at the fuel prices in New Delhi. Petrol is at Rs. 65.64 a litre while auto LPG is at Rs. 39.39 a litre.

According to Hyundai, the Eon has a claimed mileage on petrol of 21 kmpl, which means it would cost about Rs. 3.12 per kilometer to run. The same car running on LPG at a claimed mileage of 15.5 kmpl of LPG would work out to Rs. 2.54 per kilometer. By this calculation alone, LPG seems just marginally better.

However, there’s the initial purchase price to take into account. The Eon D-lite Plus petrol is priced at Rs. 2.98 lakh, while the same car in LPG would cost Rs. 3.25 lakh. Assuming you drive 1,000 km a month (33 km a day), it would cost you Rs. 3,120 on petrol and Rs. 2,540 on LPG. Given this kind of running cost it would take 4 years for you to recover the additional Rs. 27,000 you spent on your LPG car in the beginning.

Add to that the difference in performance and maintenance costs (as LPG is a dry fuel, wear and tear is slightly higher), the margin of difference reduces even further. And then there’s the problem of fuel stations that supply LPG – only some cities have a large network of LPG filling stations, while others don’t.

What we think

Unless your driving distance is significantly more or you intend to keep the car for more than four years, the Eon LPG’s running cost doesn’t really save you much. Picking the LPG variant of the Eon only makes sense if you’re near an LPG station and if your monthly driving distance is quite high.