Ve­hi­cles com­pli­ant with BS-VI will take time, say car mak­ers

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES CITY -

New Delhi: Au­to­mo­bile man­u­fac­tur­ers on Mon­day told the SC-man­dated En­vi­ron­ment Pol­lu­tion Con­trol Au­thor­ity that early in­tro­duc­tion of BS-VI-com­pli­ant cars in the cap­i­tal was nearly im­pos­si­ble. They said no retrofit­ment was pos­si­ble on older ve­hi­cles, par­tic­u­larly BS-II and BS-III, ei­ther to have a cleaner fleet.

One of the lead­ing auto man­u­fac­tur­ers said: “A huge num­ber of mod­els have to be cer­ti­fied. It’s a huge engi­neer­ing ef­fort. We are al­ready work­ing day and night to meet the of­fi­cial dead­line of April 1, 2020.”

EPCA mem­bers said sim­i­lar strate­gies had been im­ple­mented in Bei­jing where ad­vanced cars were launched be­fore other parts of the coun­try to ad­dress air pol­lu­tion. One of the auto man­u­fac­tur­ers, how­ever, con­tended that fuel qual­ity out­side Bei­jing was very poor. The same couldn’t be done in Delhi-NCR be­cause con­sumers would not get BS-VI fuel out­side NCR, which might af­fect the BS-VI en­gine, it said.

A se­nior of­fi­cial from the min­istry of petroleum and nat­u­ral gas (MoPNG) re­it­er­ated that “we are ready with the fuel. All ma­jor auto com­pa­nies had been im­port­ing BS-VI fuel for test­ing from ear­lier. They had time”.

Last year, when pub­lic out­cry over the se­vere air qual­ity in the cap­i­tal had peaked, MoPNG had an­nounced that it would ad­vance the in­tro­duc­tion of BS-VI by two years in the cap­i­tal — from April 1, 2020, to April 1, 2018.

The MoPNG of­fi­cial said BS-VI fuel would be avail­able in al­most all of NCR by 2019, ex­cept six districts — Bhi­wani, Ro­htak, Sonepat, Kaithal, Pa­ni­pat, Jind and Kar­nal. He also showed an IOC re­port to EPCA mem­bers on how much emis­sions would re­duce if BS-VI fuel was used in BS-IV ve­hi­cles. Some ve­hi­cles have shown sig­nif­i­cant re­duc­tion in emis­sions but not all. The re­port was not made pub­lic be­cause it will be first sub­mit­ted in the Supreme Court. BS-IV diesel has 50 ppm (parts per mil­lion) sulphur, while BSVI has 10 ppm.

How­ever, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of So­ci­ety of In­dian Au­to­mo­bile Man­u­fac­tur­ers ex­plained on Mon­day that in­dus­try was any­way run­ning against time to meet the 2020 dead­line.

On retrofit­ment of older ve­hi­cles with diesel par­tic­u­late fil­ters, an of­fi­cial from the Au­to­mo­tive Re­search As­so­ci­a­tion of In­dia said it was tech­no­log­i­cally com­plex be­cause older heavy-duty ve­hi­cles had me­chan­i­cal sys­tems while the DPFs were adapted for elec­tronic sys­tems.

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