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Which to pick? CNG or LPG

Which to pick? CNG or LPG

The two fuels are cheaper and cleaner, but which is better for you? CNG is cheaper than LPG, but will compromise performance, LPG won’t impact performance, but costs more.

CNG and LPG are cleaner, cheaper fuels so running costs are reduced. We’ve already seen the benefits of both when compared with petrol (CNG vs petrol, LPG vs petrol). But if you’re considering a switch to an alternate fuel, you may be in doubt over which to choose to save money. Here’s how they compare with each other.

No clear winner
Both fuels are far cheaper than petrol in the long run. According to our calculations, if you drive upwards of 750km every month, you could earn back the initial cost of the LPG/CNG kit fairly quickly. Bunny Punia, associate editor of, tells us the pros and cons of both fuels:

Price: CNG is cheaper than LPG. Currently, CNG costs Rs40 per kg while LPG costs Rs45 per kg. If you require 60kg per month with both CNG and LPG, the difference in price will be Rs300 and Rs3600 annually.

Availability: CNG is much more easily available than LPG. Even in large cities, there may be just a few filling stations for LPG. It’s much less of a problem to find a CNG filling station, though the queues for both may be long.

Initial costs: LPG kits are cheaper than CNG kits, but its running costs are higher. CNG kits are expensive whereas the cost of operation is lower.

Running costs: To make it feasible to switch to CNG, your daily commute can be as little as 25 to 30km. But to make it worthwhile with LPG you’d probably need to do 40 to 45km every day.

Performance: CNG’s compromises performance to a larger extent than LPG. So if this factor is important, LPG has the edge.

Boot space: While you will have to compromise on space with both, an LPG tank will take up less boot space than a CNG tank.

Higher cost of installation Lower cost of installation
Cheaper running costs More expensive to run on
Better distribution network Not so easily available
Takes up more boot space Takes up less boot space
Reduction in performance slightly higher than LPG Only a marginal reduction in performance
Larger number of refuelling stations Smaller number of refuelling stations
Conversion kit heavier than LPG Conversion kit doesn’t add too much weight to car

Verdict: LPG, which is less widely available and more expensive, has more cons than CNG. However, you vehicle will perform better with it than with CNG. CNG is more efficient with your money, but its initial costs are higher and it will compromise performance.

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