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What Are BS-VI Norms And How Does It Impact Auto Buyers?

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The automotive industry is all set to transition to the new Bharat Stage-VI (BS-VI) emission standards on April 1, 2020. This shift to the latest standards has certainly been the talk of the automotive town since it was announced last year. Therefore, it is a must to demystify the implications of this move as the deadline draws nearer.

What are the new BS-VI norms?

Come April 1, 2020, all registered vehicles in the country would have to conform to the new emission standards applicable under Bharat Stage-VI. In fact, the sale of all BS-IV vehicles would be disallowed, as mandated by a Supreme Court directive last year.

However, any BS-IV vehicle that is purchased up to March 2020 would remain valid for the tenure of its registration.

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What are the emission standards?

Bharat Stage emission standards were introduced in 2000 for the first time, with the objective to check motor vehicle emissions. The existing BS-IV norms were implemented in 2017 after BS-II and III were implemented in 2005 and 2010 respectively.

If teamed with the right technology (internal combustion engines, for example) and fuel, these emission standards can help to control the release of air pollutants from vehicles, including nitrogen oxide, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, sulphur oxide and particulate matter.

What are BS-VI standards?

  • According to experts, the shift to the latest BS-VI norms would reduce pollution by as much as 90 per cent.
  • Moreover, the sulphur content under the revised norms would be up to five times lower than its predecessor, BS-IV. BS-VI grade fuel contains only 10 PPM sulphur, whereas BS-IV contains 50PPM.
  • Also, the new norm would bring down nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 70 per cent in diesel cars, and 25 per cent in petrol variants.
  • Under the new norm, OBD (on-board diagnostics) has been made mandatory for all vehicles. These, along with RDE (Real Driving Emissions) can inform the driver (or the technician) about the efficiency of the vehicle’s emission systems.

How does the shift to BS-VI affect auto buyers?

Conforming to the BS-VI norms warrants increased investment in technology in order to upgrade in-stock vehicles and well as make the newer varieties. This might equate to fewer new launches till the targeted timeline.

It is likely that vehicles complying with the new BS-VI norms would cost more. Manufacturing these vehicles could cost the automakers more, and they would pass on the additional expenses to consumers.

Importantly, the new BS-VI-compliant fuel is likely to be more expensive. Different companies have already started selling the new fuel variant in Delhi. In fact, they are in full flow, trying to meet the apex court’s directive of making available the BS-VI-compliant fuel to 13 metropolitan regions – besides the NCR – by April 2019.

Motorbikes in the economy segment and diesel vehicles might see a rise in prices.

Can BS-IV cars run on BS-VI fuel?

With petrol-run vehicles, users will not have to worry much about compliance, considering there isn’t much of a difference between the former BS-IV and the revised BS-VI fuel types. However, the same cannot be said about diesel vehicles, considering the older BS-IV-type has five times the sulphur content (50PPM) as compared to BS-VI (10PPM)

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