New BSIV emission norms to be effective from 2010

The government on Wednesday 17 February notified the new emission norms — Bharat Stage IV or BS-IV — which will come into effect in April 2010.

Implementatoin of BSIV norms will require huge investments to upgrade tecnology to be able to meet the new emissions standards. The $35-billion Indian automobile industry will get a year to overhaul its entire range to meet the new emission norms, but upgrading older cars would be a difficult task, say

“Many of the older cars, currently in use, would need major changes in their engines and exhaust systems. It could cost up to Rs. 20,000 per vehicle or even more if the technology is old and not scaleable. An older diesel vehicle would need Rs. 50,000 and a commercial vehicle could require up to Rs. 1 lakh to upgrade. New models would be relatively easy to upgrade,” said an automobile engineer working with a large carmaker in India requesting anonymity.

The government first introduced emission norms a decade ago to maintain ambient air quality. The introduction of Bharat Stage I and II norms forced automakers in India to replace the conventional carburettor fuel system in vehicles with the modern fuel injection technology to meet statutory emission requirements. The newly notified norms are likely to take India closer to European standards in terms of exhaust emitted by vehicles.

Regulations for emission levels are already the same for CNG and diesel under Euro-IV, a standard which the Bharat Stage-IV norms expect to meet.

“By April 2010, BS-IV norms will come into force which will bring down emission levels. We are about four to six years behind the US and European norms,” said Mr Goenka. Siam director general Dilip Chenoy added: “It is better to stay a year or so behind their norms since we can then learn from their

He cited the example of after-treatment devices which became mandatory in Europe, after Euro II and III norms were enforced. “European manufacturers then had to fit after-treatment devices, which adds to the cost. Indians optimised the engine without adding such devisor affecting costs. Hence, it is better we stay behind European norms,” said Mr Chenoy.

Since 80% of the pollution in the country is caused by vehicles that are over eight-year-old, Siam as the industry body is working with the state governments to phase out buses based on their age and mileage, instead of phasing out all vehicles which are over 15-year-old, added Mr Chenoy.

Currently, there are three different studies for emission monitoring. The source apportionment study, undertaken by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) and soon to be unveiled, has looked at the sources of pollution and at solutions to reduce it.

The other study has been undertaken in Bangalore by TERI and Toyota to study the health effects of diesel, and the third is on nano particles and CNG. Siam is also supporting a project by Pune-based Emitec to retrofit buses with devices which can bring down emission.

Referring to devices which are retrofitted to reduce emission, Cummins India’s vice-president (automotive business) Arun Ramachandran said that such a device addresses just one or two of the four major pollutants. “A retrofitted device measures the emission of soot or particulate matter.

Also, it requires regular maintenance which makes it expensive when it comes to public transport like buses, hence requires the government support in the form of subsidies,” said Mr Ramachandran.

Leading engine maker, Cummins India chief technical officer Craig Barnes said, they have already started manufacturing the 2.8-litre and 3.8-litre diesel engines in China, which will soon be available in India.

Source: Economic Times