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What will happen if India completely bans diesel vehicles today?

A committee formed by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, led by former Petroleum Secretary Tarun Kapoor,

By Wahid Bhat
New Update
What will happen if India completely bans diesel vehicles today?

A committee formed by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, led by former Petroleum Secretary Tarun Kapoor, suggested that cities with a population of more than 1 million should ban the use of diesel-powered four-wheelers by 2027 and switch to electric vehicles and gasoline vehicles.

The committee has proposed a mix of electric buses and subways for urban transportation by 2030. The panel called the Energy Transition Advisory Committee, has made these recommendations.

The Energy Transition Advisory Committee, led by former oil secretary Tarun Kapoor, has put forward the proposals.

The Energy Transition Advisory Committee report recommends enforcing a ban on diesel-powered four-wheelers in all cities with a population of more than one million and towns with high pollution by 2027. The report also suggests transitioning commercial vehicles to LNG in the short term and prohibiting the incorporation of diesel urban buses in urban areas to switch to clean fuel urban public transport in approximately ten years.

But what if India completely banned diesel vehicles today?

To answer this question, we need to consider several factors, such as the current status of diesel vehicles in India, its impact on the environment, the economic implications of a ban, and the availability of alternative modes of transport.

Status of Diesel vehicles in India

According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), diesel vehicles make up about 25% of total vehicle sales in India. Most diesel vehicles are commercial vehicles such as trucks, buses, and taxis. However, diesel cars and SUVs are also popular among Indian consumers, especially in the mid-range and high-end segments.

A complete ban on diesel vehicles in India would have major economic implications. India is a major producer and consumer of diesel fuel, and a ban on diesel vehicles would affect the demand for diesel fuel. This could lead to a drop in the prices of crude oil and diesel, which could affect the income of oil-producing countries and oil companies.

The ban on diesel vehicles would also affect the automobile industry, which contributes significantly to the Indian economy. The automobile industry provides employment for millions of people and contributes significantly to the country's GDP. A ban on diesel vehicles would result in job losses and could lead to a decline in GDP.

Diesel vehicles are known to emit high levels of particulate matter (PM) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) that can cause serious health problems, including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

According to a study by the Center for Science and Environment (CSE), diesel vehicles contribute about 40% of the total PM emissions and 30% of the total NOx emissions in Delhi, one of the most polluted cities in the world.

What will a ban mean for India?

According to a Reuters report, diesel makes up 40% of refined fuel consumption in India, with 80% being used in the transportation sector. In 2013, diesel cars accounted for 48% of passenger car sales in India, due to the low price of diesel compared to gasoline.

However, after the liberalization of car fuel prices at the end of 2014, the difference in tariffs between the two fossil fuels decreased, causing the sale of diesel cars to fall to less than 20% of total vehicles of passengers in 2021-22.

Industry experts believe that a complete ban on diesel vehicles would be challenging for India due to several factors. Car manufacturers have already invested heavily in transitioning their diesel vehicles from BS-IV to BS-VI to meet government emission standards.

A full ban would make this investment pointless, the Indian Express reported. Additionally, commercial vehicles such as trucks and buses run primarily on diesel, making an outright ban disruptive.

Arun Malhotra, an automotive expert, told CNBC TV18: “I think the biggest problem right now is going to be in heavy and medium commercial vehicles, where the proportion or mix of diesel is still very, very high. I don't know how the transition happens, although we are talking about electric vehicles, LNG does not seem like a possibility. It's clearly possible, but this is a disruption that's happening."

Challenges With A Complete Diesel Ban

The proposal for a complete diesel ban in India by 2027 is not without its challenges. Almost 40% of the fossil fuel used in India is diesel, and it plays a crucial role in the country's transportation system. Trucks, tractors, buses and SUVs that transport goods depend on diesel fuel.

Therefore, a total diesel ban by 2027 is highly unlikely. Such a move would cause huge losses for the auto industry, which has already spent a considerable amount on research and development and modifications to meet current emission standards.

Furthermore, the proposal to allow only 100% electric buses on the roads by the end of the decade seems far-fetched, given the scale at which local transport operates. Although this is a welcome step towards greener mobility, it will take some time to become a reality.

The Indian government's proposal to ban diesel vehicles by 2027 is facing difficulties due to the significant investment in the transition to BS-VI and the high penetration of diesel in commercial vehicles.

The proposed ban could cause serious disruption in the commercial vehicle segment, where alternative fuel options are still being explored. While the use of LNG has been advocated as a potential replacement for diesel, automakers have called for strict emission standards rather than an outright ban on diesel vehicles.

The transport sector is not the only one that will be affected by a total diesel ban. Other sectors, such as agriculture and manufacturing, will also feel the effects.

The farming community is heavily dependent on diesel tractors and machinery, and the ban on diesel will have a significant impact on their operations. The manufacturing sector also relies on diesel for power generation and transportation of goods, and a full ban will result in higher costs and production delays.

Who makes diesel cars in India?

Maruti Suzuki, India's largest passenger car maker, ceased production of diesel vehicles on April 1, 2020 and has indicated that it has no plans to return to this segment.

While the diesel engine is still used in models sold by Hyundai and Kia, as well as Toyota Motor's Innova Crysta range, Tata Motors, Mahindra and Honda have all ceased production of 1.2-litre diesel engines. Diesel variants are now only available for engines with a capacity of 1.5 liters or higher.

Most automakers have taken significant steps to reduce their diesel portfolios since 2020. As a result, the contribution of passenger cars to the overall demand for diesel vehicles has fallen to 16.5%, compared to 28 .5% in 2013.

Why people prefer diesel vehicles?

India has long been a hub for diesel vehicles, due to its higher fuel efficiency and affordability compared to gasoline cars. However, the country's shift towards electric and green vehicles has raised questions about the future of diesel cars in India.

According to a report by Indian Express, diesel cars accounted for 48% of all passenger car sales in the country in 2013. However, after the liberalization of car fuel prices at the end of 2014, the difference in Prices between diesel and gasoline fell, leading to a decline in diesel car sales. Currently, diesel cars account for less than 20% of total passenger car sales in India.

Diesel engines are preferred due to their better fuel economy than gasoline engines, which is mainly due to the higher energy content per liter of diesel and the inherent efficiency of the diesel engine. Diesel engines do not require high voltage spark ignition and have higher compression ratios, making them more fuel efficient per mile. This makes diesel engines a popular choice for heavy-duty vehicles.

Which countries want to ban diesel vehicles?

Several countries around the world have announced plans to ban diesel vehicles in the coming years as part of their efforts to combat climate change and reduce air pollution. The European Union has recently passed new legislation to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2035.

The UK is also planning to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, and the US Washington has announced a ban on the sale of diesel and gasoline cars by 2030.

Similarly, France has pledged to stop selling fossil fuel cars by 2040, and Norway wants to get rid of fossil fuel cars by 2025.

China is also considering banning the production and sale of fossil fuel cars in the near future, with the South China Sea island of Hainan set to ban gasoline and diesel cars by 2030.

Other countries, including Belgium and Japan, are They have committed to phasing out fuel-powered vehicles and boosting electric vehicles sales in the coming years.

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