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The Equation Between Petrol and Pollution

As petrol prices go up, more buyers are opting for diesel cars which run on low costs but also result in more pollution

Published: May 6, 2013 07:26:56 AM IST
Updated: May 2, 2013 04:16:14 PM IST

With the increasing prices of petrol, you would not be wrong to expect car buyers to prefer smaller, more fuel efficient cars. However, car sales data shows that instead of opting for more fuel efficient variants, buyers are going for diesel models that cost and pollute more, but have lower running costs. The price of diesel, subsidised by the government, is about 20 percent lower than petrol.    

The data shows more people are opting for diesel-guzzling (and, therefore, more polluting) SUVs, rather than petrol-efficient small or compact cars. Diesel SUVs, on an average, consume 67 percent more fuel when compared to a small, petrol car. Even within the compact car segment, more people are opting for diesel variants, which generally cost Rs 1 lakh more.

(This story appears in the 17 May, 2013 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)