scorecardHere’s how much buying and owning an electric scooter costs in India versus a petrol scooter
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Here’s how much buying and owning an electric scooter costs in India versus a petrol scooter

Here’s how much buying and owning an electric scooter costs in India versus a petrol scooter
Business8 min read
  • Electric scooters are buzzing with interest from prospective two-wheeler buyers in India.
  • Despite a 132% growth in 2021, electric scooters still remain a niche product, but that will likely change in 2022.
  • That said, there are still a lot of questions in buyers’ minds when they try to decide between electric scooters and petrol scooters.
  • We break down the cost of owning and running an electric scooter compared to a petrol scooter.
Electric scooters have exploded in popularity over the past few months, thanks in part to established players like Ather, new entrants like Ola Electric’s S1 Pro and Simple Energy, the government promoting the use of electric vehicles and the ever-rising petrol prices.

Together, these factors have brought electric vehicles – scooters, particularly – in focus. This can be evidenced from the fact that electric scooters have registered a growth of 132% in 2021, with 2022 promising to be even better.


But as an end user, none of these things matter that much as the cost of owning and running an electric scooter, when compared to an ICE (internal combustion engine) alternative like the Honda Activa or TVS Jupiter.

The adage Kitna deti hai? (“How much does it give?”, referring to the mileage) couldn’t be any truer in the case of an average Indian household. With petrol prices rising throughout 2021, many of us have been looking for an electric scooter that could replace our petrol one.

One of the areas where people get stuck is the cost-benefit analysis of buying and using an electric scooter. Yes, features matter, but value-for-money may still be paramount.

This cost comparison will be in two parts – buying and running the scooter.

For this story, we have chosen the Ather 450X for comparison since it is the most widely available electric scooter in the country as of now.

Buying an electric scooter versus a petrol scooter

Here’s a comparison of the cost of buying an electric scooter like the Ather 450X, versus the Honda Activa 6G and TVS Jupiter 125 in different states in India.

State

Ather 450X

Honda Activa 6G

TVS Jupiter 125

Gujarat

₹1,26,926

₹71,983

₹73,325

Karnataka

₹1,44,500

₹72,473

₹77,025

Maharashtra

₹1,22,741

₹72,223

₹76,125

New Delhi

₹1,32,426

₹70,599

₹74,425

Tamil Nadu

₹1,46,296

₹73,815

₹78,625

Telangana

₹1,46,296

₹72,236

₹74,225

West Bengal

₹1,46,296

₹72,924

₹76,925


Source: Ather, Honda, TVS. Ex-showroom prices, exclusive of applicable taxes

As you can see, the Ather 450X costs nearly twice that of a Honda Active 6G and TVS Jupiter 125. Purely from a purchase cost point of view, the Ather 450X doesn’t really make a lot of sense, right?


But owning a vehicle is just one part of the equation – the other, and perhaps more important aspect to consider is, running and maintaining it.

Running and maintaining a scooter – electric versus petrol

Both electric and petrol scooters come with their respective challenges, as far as running and maintaining them is concerned.

When it comes to electric scooters, charging them and the range anxiety are the two major mental blocks in the minds of prospective buyers. Companies have tried to sort this out to an extent by providing chargers with the scooters, and setting up a charging network across popular cities.

Range anxiety remains a concern, though.


When it comes to petrol scooters, fuel price is the biggest issue. For instance, the price of 1 litre of petrol was ₹83.71 in New Delhi on January 1, 2021. A year later, it increased 14% to ₹95.41. That is higher than the rate of inflation.

Apart from this, maintenance costs are another major contributor to owning a petrol scooter. For the first two years, maintaining a Honda Activa costs an average of ₹4,822, but these costs can increase substantially with use and age.

In comparison, maintaining an Ather 450X costs ₹2,400 per year.

Cost per kilometre – which is better, electric or petrol scooter?

The final aspect of using a scooter – the cost per kilometre.

On an average, the Ather 450X has a real-world range of 85 kilometre (KM) per charge, while the Activa and Jupiter have a range of 45-48KM per litre, according to most reports.

According to Ather, and based on domestic electricity prices, a full charge will cost anywhere between ₹15-20. For the purpose of these calculations, we have taken the upper band of ₹20.

Scooter

Ather 450X

Honda Activa 6G

TVS Jupiter 125

Running cost per KM

₹0.24

₹2.12

₹2.12


Now that we have figured out these costs, let’s get down to the total cost of ownership and running a scooter per kilometre for 10,000, 20,000 and 30,000 kilometres.

Usage

Ather 450X

Honda Activa 6G

TVS Jupiter 125

10,000 KM

₹13.72

₹10.89

₹10.89

20,000 KM

₹6.98

₹6.51

₹6.51

30,000 KM

₹4.73

₹5.04

₹5.04


Note: Total cost per KM

The takeaway from this is that while an electric scooter might have a significantly higher upfront cost, it falls drastically the more you ride.

This is purely because of the significantly higher cost of petrol when compared to electricity, on a per kilometre basis.

So, if you are someone who commutes a lot, it might make more sense to opt for an electric scooter. If your daily commute is not high and you do not wish to spend more money upfront, it makes more sense to stick to a petrol scooter.

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