Diesel cars to account for 40 per cent of India's car sales in 2011-12: study

Diesel cars will account for over 40 per cent of the total car sales in the country in 2011-12 and the number of bigger diesel cars – the SUVs – is increasing, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said in its latest report.

Cheap diesel is pushing the car market towards bigger cars that guzzle more fuel, CSE said.

While 87 per cent of petrol cars have an engine size less than 1,200 cc, about 40 per cent of diesel cars sold are above 1,500 cc, CSE pointed out.

Excise earnings from both diesel and petrol have nearly equalled even though petrol pays seven times more excise.

But even as the demand for higher tax on diesel cars gets louder, the car industry is getting desperate to prove that cars use negligible amount of diesel, CSE said.

Figures released by automobile manufacturers show SUVs and taxis use only 5 per cent of total diesel used – cars use 0.6 per cent.