Reacting to the Delhi Diesel ban which has forced Mercedes-Benz to take all of its diesel cars off the NCR market, the German automaker has reportedly proposed to switch all its diesel passenger cars and buses to 100% bio-diesel which would lead to a significant reduction in pollution.
Economic Times reports that Nitin Gadkari, Road Transport and Highways Minister, has confirmed Mercedes’ proposal. Mercedes India chief reportedly told the minister that the standards prescribed by the government for bio-diesel can easily be used to power the brand’s diesel motors.
Supreme Court’s Delhi diesel ban has prohibited sales of diesel passenger vehicles with engine displacement of over 2,000 cc citing pollution issues. The interim ban which had an initial validity up to March 31 has been extended until further hearing.
The government’s draft notification on the usage of bi-diesel (mixture of crude oil derived diesel and bio-diesel) says: “The newly manufactured vehicles fitted with compression ignition engine compatible to run on diesel or mixture of bi-diesel up to 100% bio-diesel will be type approved as per the prevailing diesel emission standards.” However, the road and highways ministry is yet to issue the final notification on 100% use of bio-diesel.
Also read – List of cars affected by Delhi diesel ban
While Mercedes-Benz’s proposal to shift to 100% bio-diesel comes as a welcome move to reduce pollution, access to bio-fuel is not as straightforward as regular diesel. Mr. Gadkari has stated that there will be a notification in this regard soon and he is already in talks with petroleum ministry on how to make bio-diesel available at petrol pumps.
So, for now, Mercedes-Benz diesel cars continue to stay out of the Delhi market.