According to Maruti’s recent advertisement, there are clear benefits to choosing a petrol car over a diesel one.
Before the BSVI emission norms came into effect, Maruti Suzuki had announced that it won’t be upgrading its diesel car line-up to meet the new norms, but discontinuing them instead. With the cost of manufacturing diesel engines rising due to the stringent emission standard, along with the rising fuel costs, the benefits associated with such cars had all but vanished. Recently, Maruti Suzuki has been circulating a new advertisement, which shows the practicality of choosing petrol cars over diesel ones.
According to Maruti, it would take a person nearly 2,60,000 km to recover the extra cost a customer would pay to buy a diesel car over a petrol one. Not content with this, we decided to do our own calculations. The average Indian car buyer usually doesn’t drive a lot, and heavy driving might help people achieve 50,000 km in a year. Most people would drive less than half distance annually, around 20-25 thousand kilometres, as their vehicles will mostly be used for office commutes, shopping runs, and a few getaways. Now, take into account the difference between BS6 petrol and BS6 diesel versions of a car model. The average price difference between the two comes to around Rs. 2 lakh. Straight off the bat, you can see that the price gap is massive between them.
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At the moment of my writing this, the price of petrol in New Delhi is Rs. 71.26. The extra Rs. 2 lakh you save on the purchase of a petrol car over a diesel one get you almost 2,806 litres of fuel right away! Even if your petrol engine is particularly uneconomical, let’s say 10 kmpl, you will still be able to squeeze 28 thousand kilometres out of it, which should cover a full year of travel for an average Indian car buyer.
Also, the costs of diesel (Rs. 69.39) and petrol fuels isn’t too much different at the moment. If we take a pessimistic fuel economy figure for a diesel vehicle, say 15 kmpl, the benefit of buying it turns out to be to around Rs. 1.86 per kilometre. Thus, a complete cost recovery would take nearly 1,07,526 km. Our fuel economy figures were quite pessimistic, so our calculated figure isn’t quite accurate. Claimed fuel economy figures might lead to extremely different results.