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Auto industry gears up to meet Bharat Stage-IV norms

Posted on: January 29, 2009

As global automotive emission norms move to a fuel neutral status, where emissions are at the same low-level whatever the fuel, the debate
over cleaner fuels appears to be over.

Regulations for emission levels are already the same for CNG and diesel under Euro-IV, a standard which the Bharat Stage-IV norms expect to meet. The BS-IV come into force next year, said Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam) president Pawan Goenka.

“By April 2010, BS-IV norms will come into force which will bring down emission levels. We are about four to six years behind the US and European norms,” said Mr Goenka. Siam director general Dilip Chenoy added: “It is better to stay a year or so behind their norms since we can then learn from their experience.” He cited the example of after-treatment devices which became mandatory in Europe, after Euro II and III norms were enforced. “European manufacturers then had to fit after-treatment devices, which adds to the cost. Indians optimised the engine without adding such devisor affecting costs. Hence, it is better we stay behind European norms,” said Mr Chenoy.

Since 80% of the pollution in the country is caused by vehicles that are over eight-year-old, Siam as the industry body is working with the state governments to phase out buses based on their age and mileage, instead of phasing out all vehicles which are over 15-year-old, added Mr Chenoy.

Currently, there are three different studies for emission monitoring. The source apportionment study, undertaken by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) and soon to be unveiled, has looked at the sources of pollution and at solutions to reduce it. The other study has been undertaken in Bangalore by TERI and Toyota to study the health effects of diesel, and the third is on nano particles and CNG. Siam is also supporting a project by Pune-based Emitec to retrofit buses with devices which can bring down emission.

Referring to devices which are retrofitted to reduce emission, Cummins India’s vice-president (automotive business) Arun Ramachandran said that such a device addresses just one or two of the four major pollutants. “A retrofitted device measures the emission of soot or particulate matter. Also, it requires regular maintenance which makes it expensive when it comes to public transport like buses, hence requires the government support in the form of subsidies,” said Mr Ramachandran.

Leading engine maker, Cummins India chief technical officer Craig Barnes said, they have already started manufacturing the 2.8-litre and 3.8-litre diesel engines
in China, which will soon be available in India.



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