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It is Official: We Have Entered The BSVI Era

Bharat Stage 6 Emission Norms have come into action from 1st of April 2020. Here is a low down on everything BSVI.

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Gone are the days when India was one stage behind the European emission norms, from today (1st April 2020) we have officially moved on to BSVI emission norms in the country. BSVI is equivalent to EURO6 Norms.

Emission Standard

Reference

Year of Introduction

India 2000

EURO 1

2000

Bharat Stage II (BS2)

EURO 2

2005

Bharat Stage III (BS3)

EURO 3

2010

Bharat Stage IV (BS4)

EURO 4

2017

Bharat Stage V (BS5)

EURO 5

SKIPPED

Bharat Stage VI (BS6)

EURO 6

2020

The Challenges

India jumped on to BSVI from BSIV, totally skipping BSV, how is this a big deal? It’s a big deal because the industry wasn’t ready, even the BSVI compatible fuel wasn’t widely available, only now we are seeing BSVI fuel being available around. India is a predominantly Diesel market, because of the efficiency of the diesel motor and Diesel fuel is subsidised by the GOI as well. With BSVI coming into picture Diesel engines are becoming expensive to upgrade to the new emission norm. BSVI is an emission norm, there are strict parameters of emissions allowed out of a motor and for small capacity diesel motors the math is just not adding up.

Without getting too technical about the subject, a lot of technology is going into keeping the emissions low from a diesel motor, Catalytic Converters, Diesel Particulate Filters, and then Lean NOx Trap (LNT) and Selective Catalytic Reducers (SCR) are being used. All these additions are expensive and result in an increment in the price of the vehicle. In higher segments with bigger engine capacity like 2.0L engines and above the increase in price is negligible because the products in this segment are already expensive. It’s the price-conscious budget segment with smaller capacity engines that are facing challenges migrating to BSVI.

End of budget Diesel Cars?

India’s largest Carmaker – Maruti Suzuki had already announced moving on from Diesel to Petrols stating upgrading diesel engines below 1500cc to BSVI just didn’t make financial sense. Fiat Sourced 1300cc Multijet Diesel engine that powered multiple cars from many brands also couldn’t jump on the BSVI ship. Nissan and Renault’s ubiquitous K9K 1.5 Diesel motor that power almost all of their cars sadly couldn’t cross the BSVI bridge. If you are a fan of diesel engines and torque that it offers, fret not. Mahindra has upgraded all products with BSVI compliance. There are leaked pictures of even the Mahindra Thar going around on the interwebz with a 2.0L diesel motor apart from the updated exterior. Tata Motors has also upgraded its product line with Newer BSVI compliant motors. Hyundai Motor India is probably the only manufacturer with small capacity Diesel motors in its kitty and the carmaker will surely be eyeing the Diesel buyers left behind by Maruti switching to Petrol only.

BSVI Fuel?

BSVI is backwards compatible, which means it can be used on all types of vehicles regardless of their Bharat Stage Compliance. While BSVI vehicle should ideally only be fed BSVI fuel because of the low sulphur content in the fuel. BSVI is now widely available throughout the country and sourcing should not be a problem. Even if you have a BSVI vehicle and fuel up BSIV fuel, it is alright. The Mechanicals and devices have high tolerances and can handle it.

Mileage and Performance?

In the BSVI era, All that extra activity to purify exhaust gases has had two effects, Lower mileage and Lower performance, but only slightly. We used to like diesel motors because of the peaky power delivery of the Turbo Diesels, but in this new BSVI era, we are getting Turbo Petrol motors and the fun will surely not end. The two-wheeler manufacturers are also upgrading the lineup to BSVI, we are seeing Fuel injection come to budget two-wheelers, ensuring higher reliability and crisp performance but good things come at a price. An increment of 10% in the prices of budget two-wheeler is expected from this upgradation.

What's Next?

RDE Norms

There may be a second version of the BS6 which will include Real Driving Emissions (RDE) cycle. As per this norm, the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) will test new vehicles in real-world conditions to ascertain the level of pollution. Currently, ARAI tests in the vehicles in a controlled environment and therefore replicating their figures is next to impossible in real life.

CAFE norms

The Central government has proposed to introduce Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) in sync with the global auto industry. The National Auto Policy (draft) put out in early 2018 calls for developing a roadmap for the reduction in CO2 emissions through CAFE regulations. It calls for defining corporate average CO2 gm per km targets for all passenger vehicle manufacturers from 2020 and aspires to match Indian CO2 reduction targets to those set by developed countries by 2025. Stricter CAFE targets can also lead to manufacturers moving to electric or strong hybrid vehicles over the medium to long-term to comply with the norms.





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