Honda is pulling the plug on diesel engined cars in India, and will not sell diesel cars here from April 2023. This gives diesel powered Honda cars such as the City, WR-V and Amaze five more months before they’re permanently pulled off the market. According to AutocarPro, Honda will stop producing diesel engines in February 2023. April 2023 is when Real Time Driving Emission norms will come into place, and meeting these norms will require expensive emission control equipment on diesel engines that will push costs up significantly.
Already diesel engines sell at a significant premium to petrol powered ones and making them RDE compliant will outprice them from the market, which is why Honda has decided to cull diesels. The automaker will stop building diesel engines at its engine factory. And it’s not just the 1.5 liter i-DTEC turbo diesel engine that’s on the chopping block.
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The Japanese automaker will stop building the 1.6 liter i-DTEC diesel as well, which it was exporting to the Thai market for use in the Honda CR-V. With that, it’s pretty much the end of the road for Honda diesels in the Indian car market. The future will not consist of petrol engines – specifically turbo petrols and petrol strong hybrid powertrains.
In fact, the new Honda SUV that will be launched in India during 2023 is likely to feature a strong petrol hybrid powertrain. Already, Honda sells a hybrid mass market car in the form of the 5th generation City sedan. Soon, expect to see more strong hybrid powered Honda cars in India. Meanwhile, a HCIL spokesperson had this to say to a query about Honda discontinuing diesel powered cars in India,
Among the different powertrains in our overall line-up, petrol has a dominant share of more than 90% and diesel demand has been reducing. As of now, we are producing and selling the diesel variants till some time. However, after RDE norms implementation, the situation will change and diesel’s share is expected to come down further. Therefore, we are focusing more on petrol and strong-hybrid powertrains in line with our long-term vision of reducing carbon footprints.
It’s not just Honda that’s steering clear of diesels!
Maruti Suzuki – India’s largest car maker has completely dumped diesel engined cars and is now focusing on CNG, petrol strong hybrid and petrol mild hybrid cars. Maruti will also introduce an electric car after a couple of years. Renault, Nissan, Volkswagen and Skoda have also dumped diesels completely, and now sell only petrol powered cars. While Hyundai and Kia – two major players in the Indian market – continue to offer diesel engines, smaller cars in Hyundai’s line up will no longer diesel engines once the RDE norms come into force. Toyota has also been moving away from diesels. For instance, the latest Innova HyCross MPV gets petrol and petrol strong hybrid powertrains, and there’s no diesel on offer. The same is the case with the recently launched Hyryder compact SUV. Only homegrown car brands such as Tata Motors and Mahindra continue to bet big on diesel engines. Both automakers have significant presence in electric vehicles though.