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Total Ban on Diesel Vehicles in India

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May 11, 2023

Why in news?

A government panel has recommended to ban all the diesel four wheelers by 2027.

Why did the panel recommend to ban diesel vehicles?

  • Greenhouse gas emissions - To achieve the stated aim to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions by 40% to mitigate climate change.
  • Net zero goal - To produce 40% of its electricity from renewables as part of its 2070 net zero goal.
  • Oxides of nitrogen (NOx) - The higher compression ratio of diesel engines increase emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx).
  • Volkswagen emissions scandal - Led to an increase in the negative perception against diesel across markets, including India.

A panel formed by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has recommended a ban on the use of diesel-powered four-wheel vehicles by 2027 in cities with a population of more than 1 million.

What is the importance of the diesel vehicles?

  • Diesel engines have higher fuel economy than petro engine.
  • Diesel engines do not use high-voltage spark ignition (spark plugs), and thus use less fuel per kilometer.
  • Diesel engines have higher compression ratios, making it the fuel of choice for heavy vehicles.
  • Diesel engines offer more torque (rotational or turning force) and are less likely to get stalled.

Diesel currently accounts for about 40% of India’s petroleum products consumption.

Diesel consumption 2023

What will be the consequences if there is a total ban?

  • Affects transportation - Around 87% of diesel fuel sales are in the transport segment, with trucks and buses accounting for about 68%.
  • Affects the state’s GDP - Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Haryana make up almost 40% of the diesel sold in India.
  • Affects the auto manufactures - The auto manufactures have heavy invested in transition their diesel fleet from BS-IV to BS-VI emission norms.
  • Low availability of alternates - The commercial vehicle segment have not explored much of the alternatives such as electric vehicles which would cause serious disruptions in the segment.

What is the way forward?

  • According to Energy Transition Advisory Committee report LNG has the potential to replace both diesel and CNG in heavy-duty vehicles and thereby reduce GHG emissions.
  • The diesel should be phased out, rather than proposing a complete ban to avoid any serious disruptions.
  • Railways and gas-powered trucks could be used for the movement of cargo.
  • Indian should built underground gas storage to meet any unforeseen demand of energy in the future.

Quick facts

Petroleum Planning & Analysis Cell (PPAC)

  • PPAC is attached to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas was created effective from 1st April 2002.
  • PPAC assists the Government in discharge of some of the functions earlier performed by Oil Coordination Committee (OCC).
  • The expenditure of PPAC is borne by Oil Industry Development Board (OIDB).
  • The functions of PPAC includes
    • Administration of subsidy on PDS Kerosene and domestic LPG and freight subsidy for far flung areas.
    • Maintenance of information data bank and communication system to deal with emergencies and unforeseen situations.
    • Analyzing the trends in the international oil market and domestic prices.
    • Forecasting and evaluation of petroleum import and export trends.

Reference

  1. The Indian Express│ Ban On Diesel Vehicles
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