World over, petrol is the overwhelmingly popular choice of fuel when it comes to powering a car. Petrol cars are cheaper to buy, and outnumber diesels in almost all parts of the world, except perhaps Europe, where diesels have their strongest bastion. The days of diesel may well be numbered in other parts of the world, following the Volkswagen dieselgate scandal and tightening emission norms. In India too, petrols have made a big comeback following diesel price deregulation and the fall in fuel prices. And petrol cars may be the big winners once the BS6 emission norms are implemented. Here’s why.
Car makers in India are now racing against time to get their vehicles BS6 compliant before March 2020, even as the government has stood its ground on this issue. The cost of tweaking a diesel car to meet BS6 norms is Rs. 36,000. The same cost for petrol? Rs. 1,200. This is what Harish Salve, the Amicus Curiae for the Supreme Court, told the bench that was hearing a case related to why the registration of diesel cars should be permitted in Delhi. Taken at face value, this means that the move from BS4 to BS6 will not be as expensive as the car makers made it out to be. Advantage petrols, yet again. Also see – 5 compelling reasons to drive a petrol car
Small diesel cars in the sub-10 lakh rupee becoming more expensive than petrol cars by another 35,000 odd rupees (already, the difference is about 1 lakh rupees) is expected to make them unattractive to most buyers who do less than 2,000 Kms a month. This will make diesels a preserve of the cab market and more private car buyers are expected to move towards petrol powered cars in a big way. Since the government is also setting up CNG dispensing infrastructure in most big cities, diesel cars are expected to further come under pressure from CNG powered ones. Also see – The BS6 Effect and what it means for cars in India