Bharat Emission Standards – Everything that you want to know
Recently, govt. has decided to implement Bharat Standards VI norms April 1, 2020. This comes in the wake of pressure from Supreme Court to implement clean vehicular fuel norms soon amid concerns on rising air pollution especially in Delhi.
This policy is inline with our commitments at Paris Climate Change Conference as well as public sentiments against rising air pollution in the cities, especially metros.
These are norms instituted by the Govt of India to regulate the output of air pollutants from internal combustion engine equipment, including motor vehicles.
- The standards and the timeline for implementation are set by Central Pollution Control Board under the Ministry of Environment & Forests and climate change.
- The standards are based on European regulations were first introduced in 2000.
What is current status of emission norms?
Currently, BS IV norms are applicable in 33 cities in which the required grade of fuel is available.
In rest of India, we are still following BS III standards.
Let’s see a little background of its implementation
1991– India introduced the emission norms for the first time.
1996– The norms saw some tightening as govt. asked most vehicle manufacturers to incorporate catalytic converters to cut exhaust emissions.
Govt. also notified fuel specifications based on environmental considerations, which were to be implemented by 2000.
2000– Govt. notified BS-I and BS-II standards, which were equivalent to Euro I and Euro II respectively. <BS-II was for the NCR and BS-I for the rest of India>
2005– BS-III and BS-II fuel quality norms came to be implemented. <BS-III for 13 major cities and BS-II for the rest of India>
2010– BS-IV and BS-III fuel quality norms were introduced. <BS-IV for 13 major cities and BS-III for the rest of India>
It works on a two-pronged strategy to control the air pollutant output.
- Reducing the Sulphur content in the fuel.
- At engine level, it augments some equipment which reduces emissions.
What does Auto Fuel Policy have to say?
Auto Fuel Policy 2003
- It aims at addressing issues of vehicular emissions and vehicular technologies by applying fuel quality standards.
- It encouraged the use of CNG/LPG fuel in cities affected by higher pollution levels.
- It gives the timeline for adopting the Bharat Standards across the country:
BS IV- 2017
BS V- 2020
BS VI- 2024
Recently, govt had constituted an Expert Committee under the Chairmanship of Shri Soumitra Choudhuri, to draft Auto Fuel Vision and Policy 2025.
Recommendations of Soumitra Choudhuri committee:
It presents the road map for auto fuel quality till 2025 for the country,taking into account the achievement under the last Auto Fuel Policy, emission reduction of in use vehicles, growth of vehicles and the supply and availability of fuels.
- It recommended nationwide fuel standards to be BS-IV. It has proposed to move to BS V from 2020 and BS VI from 2024.
- To upgrade refineries to produce BS-V petrol and diesel will need Rs.80,000 crore.
- It recommended Special Fuel Upgradation Cess of 75 paise/litre on fuel to meet the cost.
Let’s analyse Bharat Standards vis-a-vis Euro Standards
BS-VI is equivalent to Euro VI. However, many western countries have already graduated to Euro VI.
But, India is following European emission norms with a time lag of 5 years.
What are the challenges in implementing BS VI norms?
Engine development firms have cited a technological challenge in implementing the changes.
They have cited that jumping directly to BS-VI norms would give them little time to design changes in their vehicles.
Why is it challenging for auto firms to implement it?
There are two critical components which needs a fitment in the engine. They would have to be adapted to India’s peculiar conditions, where running speeds are much lower than EU or US. Industry estimates of required investment to upgrade from BS-IV to BS-V are to the tune of Rs. 50000 crore.
- Diesel Particulate Filter– Its function is to remove particulate matter from diesel exhaust.
Challenge: Problem is small cars with limited bonnet space would need major redesign to accommodate DPF. Temperature of 600 degrees Celsius is required to burn the soot in DPF, which is difficult to achieve in India due to low driving speeds.
- Selective Catalytic Reduction Module– It reduces oxides of Nitrogen.
Challenge: It needs injection of Aqueous solution into the system, for which separate infrastructure is needed for countrywide supply.
There are questions about the ability of the oil marketing companies to quickly upgrade fuel quality from BS-III and BS-IV standards to BS-VI.
The objective of upgradation to higher emission norms is defeated, if the uniform fuel is not available across the country.<This has been seen in reduced efficacy of engines of BS-IV vehicles, while taking inter-state travel>
Published with inputs from Pushpendra