Road to Reform: BS IV
When the Supreme Court issued verdict in favor of pleas seeking a ban on sale and registration of BS III-compliant vehicles, it came not as an impromptu call by government. The apex court banned the sale of Bharat Stage III vehicles with effect from April 1, 2017. In the view of honorable Supreme Court, “Health of the people is more important than the commercial interest of automobile manufactures”.
Bharat Stage Emission standards’ are emission standards instituted by the Government of India in order to normalize the productivity of air pollutants from internal combustion engine equipment. The standards and the timeline for implementation are set by the Central Pollution Control Board under the Ministry of Environment & Forests and Climate Change. Bharat Stage norms are based on European regulations.
As per the report of Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the first emission norms were introduced in India in 1991 for petrol and 1992 for diesel vehicles. Each stage is characterized by certain limit on the pollutants released, which is controlled by the type of fuel made by the oil companies. The up gradations and modifications made by the auto firms to their vehicles in order to control the pollutants released from the vehicle is another way.
The timeline for various emission standards are as follows:
April, 1995: Mandatory fitment of catalytic converter in new petrol cars sold in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai along with supply of unleaded petrol (UPL).
April, 2000: Euro I equivalent India 2000 norms met passengers and commercial vehicles.
August, 2002: First Auto Fuel policy was announced which put forward Emission and Fuel Roadmap up to 2010.
April, 2005: Bharat Stage III norms were applied to four wheelers in 13 metro cities and rest of the country moved to Bharat Stage II norms.
April, 2010: Bharat Stage IV norms were made compulsory for 13 metro cities and rest of the country moved to Bharat Stage III norms.
October, 2014: Bharat Stage IV norms were extended to 20 cities additionally.
April, 2017: Bharat Stage IV norms were applicable to entire categories of vehicles throughout the country.
In the near future automotive sector as a whole is heading towards implementing BS VI emission regulation by the year 2020 in India. Speculations are that India will switch to BS VI from BS IV i.e. it will skip BS V.
This will require a huge amount of investments to make the oil refineries capable of producing a better quality of fuel and also investments in the infrastructure to make that fuel available across the country.
On the part of automakers, they will have to make investments on their end too in order to speed up the research and development process and improve their own infrastructure – like the manufacturing plants – to make their offering BS VI compliant.
This, eventually, will make owning an internal combustion engine powered car more expensive to own, and maintain.
To sum it up, India is making an effort to reach the global standards and hence, a lot of changes in the trends, sales and choices made by customers are expected in the coming years.