Honda likely to discontinue diesel engines in India: Here's why
In an unprecedented move, Honda is planning to discontinue its diesel engines in India. This step by the Japanese carmaker is due to the Real Driving Emissions (RDE) norms, which will come into effect in 2023, followed by the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE 2) regulations. Honda CEO Takuya Tsumura thinks that it will be difficult to clear the RDE norms with diesel engines.
- Due to the harmful effects of global warming, authorities worldwide are implementing stricter emission norms. Diesel-powered vehicles are one of the highest emitters of greenhouse gases.
- Honda is planning to go all-electric in the coming years. However, the process of complete electrification will take time.
- In the meantime, the brand is planning to expand its line-up of hybrid cars in India.
As part of the second phase of BS6, the Real Driving Emissions (RDE) and Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE 2) norms will evaluate the emission targets in both ideal test conditions and the real world. CAFE 2 lowers the permissible average CO2 levels of fleet vehicles from 130g/km to 113g/km. The RDE will rely on real-world conditions, as opposed to just a laboratory environment.
Tsumura believes that it will be hard to comply with the upcoming RDE norms with diesel engines. Also, adapting to the new regulations will be a costly affair. He further stated that even in Europe, most of the brands could not continue with the diesel technology. The Japanese automaker is currently evaluating the viability of diesel as a fuel in India.
In fact, Honda experimented in the hybrid space by bringing the City e:HEV to India earlier this year. The car saw good demand from people who wanted to switch to EVs but were apprehensive due to the limited driving range offered by them. The Japanese marque is now focusing on strong hybrid technology and is also evaluating battery electric vehicles (BEVs) for India.