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Indian automobile sector took a giant leap in April 2020 after it implemented the BS6 emission norms in the country.
Now, the Indian automobile sector is heading towards another massive transition in automobile emission norms by implementing Real Driving Emissions (RDE) norms in the country.
This new RDE emission norm is said to come into effect from April 2023 onwards, and this test is a lot more stringent as it requires the cars to achieve their emission targets in the real-world conditions. These new emission norms are a lot harder to scale, especially for diesel engines.
Speaking about RDE, these latest test norms require emission testing that is representative of the real-world usage of automobiles. This is a lot more challenging for car manufacturers as the end emission is affected by various parameters such as road conditions, altitude, ambient temperature, and many more.
Thanks to these new Real Driving Emissions (RDE) norms in the country, automotive manufacturers are now bringing in more electrified propulsion technologies to overcome these new emission norms. Furthermore, this has also pushed some automobile manufacturers to kill their diesel engines in India.
Earlier, Hyundai axed their 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder diesel engine that powered the likes of Nios and Aura as the sales were less than 5 per cent of the total sales volume. This proved that engine was not worth saving by spending crores into further development to meet the new RDE norms.
While the 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder diesel engine that powers the likes of i20, and Venue will also be likely to get axed as more people in this price range prefer going with a petrol engine. Additionally, Honda Cars India has also stopped the production of diesel-powered WR-Vs and select variants of diesel-powered Amaze sedans.
The decision to stop the production of diesel engines is mainly due to the investment costs that are needed to develop diesel engines to cope with the upcoming stringent RDE norms in India. So, it is more feasible from an investment point of view to axe the diesel engines instead of developing them to comply with the upcoming RDE norms.
These upcoming new RDE norms in India will be implemented from April 2023 onwards and many automobile manufacturers in India are gearing up to stop the production of their diesel engines before that to save millions of rupees in development costs. Though diesel engines might be gone from smaller cars, companies are likely to upgrade the diesel engine in their bigger cars as demand for diesel cars are a lot higher especially in the SUV category.