Hyundai launched the Kona EV in India last month and it has claimed the title of being the first long-range EV of India. Despite the infrastructure for EVs being an almost non-existent thing in India, the government, as well as several private sector companies, are working on revamping that soon. At the time of the launch of the Kona EV, Hyundai said that the running cost of the vehicle is 1/5th of that of the Hyundai Creta petrol variant. The company also said that it has 80% lower running cost than a petrol car and promises a low maintenance cost too. So, the question now is whether you should go for the top-end diesel automatic or petrol automatic variant of the Hyundai Creta, or buy the Kona EV instead.
While it’s true that the prices of the Kona EV are much higher than even the top-end Creta models, if we take into account 5 years of ownership the total cost of ownership with the cost of the vehicle should be about equal to that of Creta if not less according to the claims by Hyundai. To verify the same, we did a little bit of math and arrived at a conclusion that the Kona EV is a better deal in the long run, or say in 5 years of ownership or more. How? Let’s take you through that.
We are only considering the top-end diesel and petrol Creta variant with automatic gearbox since the Kona also has an auto box. The top-end Creta diesel automatic variant, which is the SX 1.6 AT CRDi, has an on-road price of Rs. 18.13 lakh in Delhi. The top-end petrol variant, which is the SX 1.6 AT, has an on-road cost of Rs. 16.1 lakh. Coming to the Hyundai Kona, it has an on-road price of Rs. 27.69 lakh. Considering an average run of 1,500 km per month, let’s now calculate the total money spent on fuel for the Creta and electricity for the Kona EV.
Since we are looking at an ownership tenure of at least 5 years, let’s multiply the same with the average monthly running we have decided previously for this comparison, which is 1,500 km. 5 years means 60 months and multiplying the same with 1,500 yields 90,000, which is the total kilometres of distance the vehicle will cover in 5 years with a monthly running of 1,500 km. Talking about the top-end Creta petrol AT first, it has an ARAI certified fuel economy of 15.29 km/l. Dividing 90,000 km (total running in 5 years) with 15.29 km/l (mileage), we get 5,886.2. This is the total amount of fuel the car will need to cover 90,000 km. Considering the current petrol rates in Delhi at Rs. 72.3 and multiplying the same with 5,886.2 L (total litres of fuel), we get 4,25,572 (rounded off). So, one has to shell Rs. 4.25 lakh in petrol bills to run the Creta SX 1.6 AT for 5 years with an average monthly running of 1,500 km.
Applying the same maths for the top end diesel Creta AT, which has an ARAI certified fuel efficiency rating of 17.01 km/l and taking the diesel prices as Rs. 66, we get the total diesel cost of Rs. 3.49 lakh. Hence, one has to shell out Rs. 3.49 lakh in diesel bills to run the Creta SX 1.6 AT CRDi for 5 years with an average monthly running of 1,500 km. Coming to the Kona, the vehicle has a 39.2 kW/h battery and a claimed range of 452 km. Taking the case of Delhi, the recent alterations in charging rate has resulted in lower rates. People who charge their vehicle at home, (low-tension e-vehicle users) will pay Rs 4.5 per kW while people who charge their electric vehicle at public charging stations (high-tension users) will pay Rs 4.
So taking Rs. 4.5 per kW/h as the electricity rate and calculating the total amount spent on changing the Kona for 90,000 with a monthly average of 1,500 km, we get Rs. 35,123 as the total amount. It is calculated by multiplying the electricity rate with the battery capacity which in turn is multiplied by the result of 90,000 divided by 452 (Kona EV’s range). So for Kona EV, the total amount spent on electricity is Rs. 35,123 for 5 years with an average monthly running of 1,500 km.
That is massively lower than both the diesel and petrol variants of the Creta. The results are even more in favour of the Kona EV if the monthly running is increased to 2,000 km or more. Coming to the service and maintenance cost, the Hyundai Creta petrol has an approximate cost of Rs. 15,525 while the Creta diesel has an approximate cost of Rs. 23,578 for a tenure of 5 years. The Kona has a similar service and maintenance cost of 15,607 for 5 years. Also, note that the government is planning to offer various rebates to those who buy EVs in the form of income tax relief and lower interest rates among others. A few other concessions and benefits may be offered to EV owners in future in a bid to promote EVs in India.
Summarising, we see that the total running cost of the Hyundai Creta SX 1.6 AT (petrol) including the fuel cost and approximate service cost is 4.41 lakh. The same for Hyundai Creta SX 1.6 AT CRDi (diesel) is 3.72 lakh while for Kona EV, the total cost is Rs. 50,730.
Coming to the question of whether the Kona EV is better for you than the top-end diesel or petrol Creta automatic, we’ll say yes if your driving is usually restricted to the city limits. Though the overall cost of the Kona EV is still higher than the top-end Creta even after including all sorts of running and maintains cost, what you get is a cleaner and more feature-rich car that is ready for the future. Upcoming rebate scheme may reward you with substantial money too if you go for the Kona EV and with the government taking the whole EV scene seriously, expect the infrastructure to get a big boost in the coming years. For those who are worried about the cost of battery change, Hyundai provides a battery warranty of 8 years/1.6 lakh km with the Kona and hence that is one thing you don’t need to worry about. Note that the calculations made here use ideal variables and the situation in real-life conditions may vary, but the difference will not be drastic.