Manufacturers are making announcements of discontinuing diesel variants of their car with the commencement of BSVI emission standards. Making it look like the end of an era for diesel engines, we believe not.
Petrol and diesel are the most commonly used fossil fuels in automobiles. The former is purer and volatile, but is also expensive, while the latter is denser but cheaper. Petrol engines are free-revving and have higher mechanical efficiency, but the diesel mills take the charge in terms of volumetric efficiency, provided both the engines displace the same amount of air-fuel volume in the combustion chamber. With upcoming BSVI emission norms, these engines now have to breathe out cleaner air, and that is where the diesel engines fall behind the petrol counterparts. To make them emit out lesser carbon, SOX, NOX, and PM constituents, it requires some extra components, which makes them significantly more expensive than the petrol engines.
Maruti will not produce BSVI diesel cars, while Hyundai will try its best fill this void.
With so much falling on the sides of petrol engines, they surely have a higher demand in the future. Something similar has been forecasted by the global information provider – IHS Markit. They also confirmed, the production of diesel vehicle will fall to the lowest of this decade in the year 2020. IHS has also forecasted that out of all the vehicles to be produced in the year 2020 with a gross weight of less than 3.5 tonnes, only 18.5% will sport a diesel engine. However, in 2013, 47% of the total vehicles produced were diesel-powered.
Suraj Ghosh, Principal Analyst, IHS Markit, said in an interview, “Drop in the production of diesel cars would be prominent in the A+, B and B+ segments, which can also be categorized as the passenger vehicles shorter than four metres in length. However, despite losing some volumes to petrol, utility vehicles larger than 4 metres would predominantly remain diesel."
Maruti has recently announced that it will stop making diesel cars once the BS6 emission norms kick in. However, the carmaker has already stopped the production of diesel cars. It is a big decision from the industry giant, and thus cannot be left as a false one. The increment in the cost of diesel engines to make them BS-6 compliant is what holding back the manufacturers to make BS-6 diesel cars. Other manufacturers like Renault, Nissan, and Volkswagen have also discontinued the diesel variants of their respective cars and are replacing them with turbo-petrol engines.
Production of diesel cars in 2020 is expected to be the lowest in this decade.
However, the second-largest carmaker in India, Hyundai, has different thoughts on this forecast. The South-Korean carmaker is up on its toes to fill the void left by Maruti. Hyundai will continue selling diesel cars in the Indian market. The manufacturer is indeed working on new engines to replace its outgoing 1.4L and 1.6L diesel engines. So, end of an era for diesel engines? Actually no, it is the end of an era for the Fiat-sourced 1.3L diesel engine that Maruti sold for almost a decade in all of its cars. This disruption in the views of different manufacturers can best be described as the resurrection of the Indian car market with fresher products with newer powertrains.