19 October, 2020

Fuel For Thought

The case for a diesel car will stay strong till the fuel is subsidised

Sanjay Rawat
Fuel For Thought

Let me begin with one of my pranks, which involves a brand new (and sometimes yet-to-be launched) diesel car and a fuel pump attendant. I drive in and ask him to fill up. “Petrol or diesel?” he asks, a touch confused about a car he hasn’t seen before. “Sasta kya hai?” I ask. “Diesel,” he naturally says. “Phir diesel dalo!” I instruct him with a poker face. The reactions are brilliant—ranging from bemusement to utter shock. Of course, the game is up the moment he opens the fuel tank flap and spots the ‘Diesel Only’ label.

The point is that 10 years ago it would have been hard to pull a juvenile stunt like this. Diesel cars were nowhere near as refined as they are today and the clatter from under the hood would betray the car’s diet even before it pulled into the forecourt. The first crop of diesel cars and SUVs came with vibrations that threatened to knock the fillings out of your teeth and a racket loud eno­ugh to wake up your neighbours....



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