Honda India CEO Yoichiro Ueno has revealed that his company will continue to build the 1.5 liter i-DTEC turbocharged diesel engine in the Indian market even after the Bharat Stage 6 (BS6) emission norms kick in from 2020. This is because most of Honda’s car demand from Tier 2 and Tier 3 Indian cities is for diesels.
The 1.5 liter diesel engine powers almost every Honda car sold in India except the Brio and the CR-V. The Amaze, Jazz, City, WR-V and BR-V all offer the diesel engine in the same 98.6 Bhp-200 Nm state of tune. Mr Ueno has made the following statements highlighting how Honda plans to make the 1.5 liter i-DTEC turbocharged diesel engine meet the stringent BS6 emission norms,
In Tier II and Tier III towns, the demand is fully concentrated towards diesels. To meet customer demand, we have to offer diesel. BS IV is a challenge. Especially for diesels, the particulate matter (PM) regulation is very strict. We need very defined PM filters and that effects the cost of the diesel upgrade. We have the technology. The challenge is not performance of equipment but of cost.
Once the BS6 emission norms are rolled out in India, the cost of diesel engined cars is expected to rise as BS6 norms need cars to run expensive emission control equipment. The gap between petrol and diesel engined cars could rise further. To keep costs at manageable levels, Honda plans to manufacture most of the expensive emission control equipment in India itself rather than importing it.
Honda is also planning to introduce more diesel cars in the Indian market. The CR-V premium SUV will get a 1.6 liter i-DTEC turbocharged diesel engine next year, and in 2019, the Civic sedan will make a comeback into India with the same diesel engine. Honda has already begun manufacturing the 1.6 liter i-DTEC diesel engine in India and is currently exporting it to international markets.