India is going to undergo a big paradigm shift by upgrading to BS-VI (Euro 6 equivalent) norms by 2020. India is one of the first countries to completely skip BS-V and leapfrog to BS-VI. Commendable work by oil companies has allowed advancement in the role out of BS-VI fuel and Delhi/NCR will be the first city to get it from April 1, 2018. Pollution in the capital has reached to extreme limits and while the contribution of vehicular pollution to the overall air-pollution is a matter of debate, the introduction of this higher grade BS-VI fuel is certainly a step in a right direction.
Government's regulation of implementation BS VI norms by April 2020n sets forth mass emission standards, type approval requirements, OBD system specifications, and durability levels for all major vehicle categories in India. Various ministries including Petroleum, Road Transport along with government-appointed agencies like ARAI and green tribunal have set the new BSVI standards. It largely focuses on the reduction of nitrogen oxides (NOx), Hydrocarbons, Carbon Monoxide and Particulate Matter released from combustion engines.
As per earlier Government notification, BS-V was to be implemented in 2019 followed by BS-VI in 2023, But to stay ahead and manage with emission norms in Europe, Government in 2016 announced skipping BS-V altogether and rollout BS-VI norms by 2020. Automakers and oil companies now have to invest heavily to ensure availability of both fuel and vehicle ahead of government's timeline.
How is BS6 fuel different from BS4
Difference between BS-IV and BS-VI fuel and vehicles primarily is the significant lower content of sulphur. The sulphur content on both petrol and diesel will come down to 10ppm in BS-VI fuel as compared to 50 ppm in BS-IV fuel.
India's first BS-VI car:
What happens if you put BS-VI fuel in BS-IV vehicle:
Now the big question is BS-VI fuel compatible with the existing old vehicles? Yes, overall there is no need to panic. It is highly unlikely that the current BS-IV fuel will be off the market soon even with the introduction of BS-VI fuel. In fact, there are more advantages of putting the new BS-VI fuel even on the current running BS-III and BS-IV compliant cars The lower the sulphur content in the fuel, the cleaner it burns. This will result in lower emissions of NOx, CO and Hydrocarbons on the petrol powered vehicles and on diesel engines, there will be a significant reduction in the lower particulate matter. Reports by ARAI suggests that a BS-IV compliant car running on BS-VI fuel (diesel) could emit 50% less particulate matter.
However, sulphur is also needed in the current BS-IV compliant engine to make it fuel efficient. The workings were designed in a way that the sulphur is needed for smooth workings of the engine. However, the fuel efficiency will drop marginally only after a long and constant use of BS-VI fuel on BS-IV car. Most of the oil companies have invested a lot for early rollout of BSVI fuel and is likely that by 2019 most of the metro and tier-1 cities will have BS-VI fuel available. This will also all automakers to test its upcoming BSVI vehicles ensuring in time rollout of BS-VI vehicles.
BS-VI Compliant Cars:
All top automakers including Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland have started towards the development of BSVI vehicles and so expect a range of new and clean vehicles being launched by 2020. Luxury carmaker, Mercedes-Benz has already launched its high-end S-Class which is BS-VI complaint. On many occasions, India's leading carmaker, Maruti Suzuki has confirmed that its entire range will shift to be BS-VI compliant by April 2020. Mahindra and Tata Motors will be looking at reworking at its product line-up and many of its existing products might not see a BS-VI future.
Air-pollution is a serious threat and while India gets ready for future of mobility and looks at hybrids and electric vehicles, this move to BS-VI is certainly the right move and will to reduce the overall pollution in the country.