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