Bharat Stage emissions standards

Reasons for being in news

The Supreme Court recently said no Bharat Stage IV vehicle shall be sold across the country with effect from April 1, 2020.

What are Bharat Stage emissions standards?

The Bharat Stage emission standards are standards instituted by the government to regulate the output of air pollutants from motor vehicles from internal combustion engine equipment, including motor vehicles. India has been following European (Euro) emission norms, although with a time lag of five years.

The BS IV norms had been enforced across the country since April 2017. In 2016, the Centre had announced that the country would skip the BS-V norms altogether and adopt BS-VI norms by 2020. Implementation of the intermediate BS-V standard was originally scheduled for 2019.

What is the difference between BS-IV and BS-VI?

The main difference in standards between the existing BS-IV and the new BS-VI auto fuel norms is the presence of sulphur. The BS-VI fuel is estimated to bring around an 80 per cent reduction of sulphur, from 50 parts per million to 10 ppm. The emission of NOx (nitrogen oxides) from diesel cars is also expected to come down by nearly 70 per cent and 25 per cent from cars with petrol engines.

What it means for vehicles?

The Supreme Court verdict may hit the automobile industry. The manufacturers had argued that they still have unsold stock of BS-IV vehicles and requested time till March 31, 2020, so that they be granted reasonable time to sell their stock. Using the introduction of higher grade fuel will be beneficial only if it is done in tandem with the rollout of BS-IV compliant vehicles. Using BS-VI fuel in the current BS-IV engines or, conversely, running BS-VI engines on the current-grade fuel, may be ineffective in curbing vehicular pollution, and may damage the engine in the long run.