Diesel cars were once the darling for those looking for mobility and economy. Just six years ago, when petrol was about 40% more expensive, anyone with a monthly running of about 1500km preferred to choose a diesel car so they could enjoy savings from day one.
The story now is very different, with not much separating the two fuels in terms of price. The result? Diesel cars no longer seem to enjoy the adulation they once did. As if that was not enough, the government’s tough stand to curb the sale of new diesel cars has dealt the industry a body blow. In Delhi-NCR, for instance, you are not allowed to drive a diesel car that is more than ten years old.
Does that mean diesel cars are rolling down a dead-end road? We don’t think so. Here’s why.
Let’s begin with economies. Petrol maybe just about INR 8 dearer (at the time of writing this) than diesel, but a diesel engine offers nearly 30% higher efficiency. This means, for a regular hatchback or a sedan, a user saves about INR 2 per kilometre of usage. It only takes a simple calculation to show that you need to drive your car for 60,000km to recover the higher initial cost.
Then comes the pure pleasure of driving a car with higher torque. A diesel passenger vehicle in India puts out 40-60% higher torque than its equivalent petrol sibling. For example, the Swift diesel has 190 Nm of torque as compared to 114 Nm for the petrol model. Likewise, the Honda WRV diesel puts out 200 Nm of torque, which is almost double that of its petrol model. The bonus torque is a boon when driving with a load of passengers or going to a hill destination. Likewise, all that torque coming in below 2500 rpm means less frequent gear shifts.
This is especially important for MPVs and SUVs. Heavier vehicles need that extra push from the torque while still delivering respectable fuel economy figures. Petrol SUVs might be smoother to drive but end up delivering shockingly low fuel economy, which increases the running costs.
Now that we’ve gotten the individual advantages out of the way, let’s get to the bigger aspects of owning a car. Pollution.
BS-6 or Bharat Stage 6 emission norms are just around the corner and fuel companies have already started pumping out BS-6 compliant fuel to stations. This improved fuel contains 5 times lesser sulphur traces and up to 70% less nitrogen oxide levels. This, along with changes being done by the manufacturer, means BS-6 diesel cars will emit a fraction of the harmful pollution as compared to the current crop.
And we haven’t even touched upon the very important commercial category, where trucks and buses form the backbone of our transportation industry. These vehicles cannot do without diesel fuel. It’s heartening to see the government and manufacturers working side by side to make sure even commercial vehicles become cleaner with time.
Before we end though, we do agree that the narrowing gap between fuel prices and expensive technology (for BS-6 implementation) will continue to be a roadblock for diesel car sales but this fuel type will continue to exist for years to come. You can keep your car and start saving for another one. Since your present car might be old and need some repairs, why not get it done through professionals and at that too at 40% savings than an authorised service centre.Visit GoMechanic or call them on 93888 93888 to book your car service today!
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