While we have been talking almost throughout the year about the paradigm shift that the auto industry is making towards petrol vehicles. One of the major and more immediate shift will be to BS6 emission ratings from BS4 that is said to come into effect in 2020. Overall, the move will cost the auto and oil industry an estimated Rs 1 lakh crore. Perhaps even more importantly, one of the biggest loses from the introduction is likely to be small diesel cars that shot to popularity in the 2000s. After the BSVI, diesel will not only get more expensive but make them downright impractical to manufacture.
Speaking to Express Drives, Maruti Suzuki indicated that BS6 might become about Rs 2.5 lakh more expensive than their petrol counterparts. At present in BS4 complaint vehicles, the difference between petrol and diesel cars ranges between Rs 80,000 to Rs 1.5 lakh. However, come 2020 the BS VI shift will further accelerate the push towards petrol and greener fuels like CNG and electrification. The question remains, then, as to why diesel cars will be more expensive in the shift, read on. To shift to stricter emission norms, in the case of diesel engines is usually more complicated. In this shift, diesel motors will need more equipment to ensure the exhaust gases are relatively cleaner and less loaded with particulate matter ie PM 10 and PM 2.5, and nitrogen dioxide.
To control the PM being exhausted from the vehicle, diesel cars will need to have a diesel particulate filter (DPF). Nitrogen oxides are treated with another selective catalytic reduction (SCR). It uses diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), which is essentially an aqueous urea (ammonia) solution. This DEF tank will need to be topped up every now and then. Put together all of this and diesels become absolutely impractical, not only to buy but also to manufacture. Similar emission norms in Europe has already seen the end for many diesel models. Indian manufacturers are also likely to follow suit once BS6 kicks in 2020.