The Indian auto market is facing a big pinch due to rising fuel prices thus affecting the sales figures of various OEMs. Recently the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) has come up with a study based on this regard that involves judging the fuel efficiency of the cars sold in India. Preliminary findings of the study reveal that only 9 to 16% of the total cars sold are actually fuel efficient. The study was conducted by BEE to set fuel efficiency standards for all the car models and it points out that in reality the average weight of the cars sold is increasing every year. So, it reveals that with every year the fuel consumption per 100 km was not reducing but actually increasing.
“If the trend continues, in 2020, it would increase to over 5.5 million per year and the total stock in the country would exceed 45 million. The annual fuel requirement would then be in excess of 25 million tonnes of oil equivalent. In view of the expected tripling of cars in the next decade and considering national import dependence on petroleum in excess of 70%, besides the declining urban air quality due to increasing fuel consumption, it is important to provide strong signals to both car manufacturers and users of the need to reduce the average fuel consumption of new cars,” the paper quoted.
According to the study carried out, out of the total 330 cars sold in India, only 32 fell in the 5-star category. Apart from the 32 5-star rated cars, 52 cars fell in the 4-star category while 105 cars made it into the 3 star category, 69 cars to the 2 star category and 72 cars in the 1 star category. The 5-star category is defined in the paper as cars having fuel consumption roughly about 7 litre per 100 km. The 4 star category is for cars consuming 7 to 9 litres of fuel per 100 km while for the 3 star it is 9 to 11 litre per 100 km and for 2 star it is 12 litres per 100 km. Cars having higher consumption than this are categorized under the 1 star. So, if we look at the figures, it indicates that we have very less fuel efficient cars compared to the non fuel-efficient ones. Since, this is sure to become a problem in near future, BEE now is working on introducing medium and long term fuel consumption standards for the new cars that will be launched and it will soon turn to be a regulatory requirement for the car makers to reduce the average fuel consumption of cars over the next 10 year period. BEE also plans to introduce fuel consumption labels so that consumers can compare the fuel efficiency figures of models in same weight category.