Kochi

Stakeholders gear up to usher in BS-VI vehicles

New norms to take effect on April 1

Oil companies, retailers, car dealers, and Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) are gearing up to usher in vehicles and fuel that comply with the Bharat Stage-VI (BS-VI) emission norms which will take affect on April 1.

It will be a giant leap from the BS-IV emission norms that are in vogue now, with considerable reduction in the content of sulphur and nitrous oxide in fuel. Several vehicle manufacturers have already begun selling BS-VI-compliant vehicles, while oil companies have started supplying the less polluting fuel to retail outlets.

“We began supplying BS-VI fuel to retailers a fortnight ago. Machinery is being readied to increase the scale of production. Our plan is to ensure availability of cleaner fuel nationwide from March 1 onwards, a month before the norms take effect,” said sources in BPCL.

Responding to concerns among a section of car owners over the possibility of two types of the same fuel getting mixed up in underground tanks of retailers, an IOC official said steps would be taken to ensure that retailers adhered to the set protocol. “We will test the type of fuel that they vend, once the tanks are refilled with BS-VI fuel,” he added.

Discount for BS-IV

In their eagerness to clear the stock of BS-IV cars, the past two quarters have seen dealers offer substantial discounts to customers. “I was offered a discount of ₹1.60 lakh for a BS-IV-compliant SUV whose BS-VI counterpart has not been rolled out. After brainstorming and consultations, I opted to purchase an SUV which adhered to the BS-VI emission norms, manufactured by another company. I did not want to take a chance on the possible fall in resale value, a few years down the lane. On their part, firms that issue pollution-under-control certificate must upgrade their equipment,” said Suresh G., a vehicle owner.

Interestingly, BS-VI-compliant cars and SUVs have a higher price tag, which could be costlier by up to ₹1.50 lakh or even more for high-end SUVs.

Fall in pollution levels

The foray of BS-VI cars and fuel will see a marked change in noxious emissions, said Eldo Benjamin, senior vice president (sales and marketing), Nippon Toyota. “The key difference will be that there will be a considerable reduction in particulate matter. Moreover, BS-VI-compliant petrol will reduce emission of nitrogen oxide by 25% and diesel by 70%.

Similarly, sulphur will be reduced from 50 ppm parts per million (ppm) in BS-IV fuel to 10 ppm in BS-VI fuel. The concern over global warming and climate change has left customers keen on adopting cleaner fuels,” he added.

BS-VI norms and new launches at the Auto Expo are expected to contribute to positive customer sentiments during the first two quarters of 2020, providing a much-needed boost to the sale of four-wheelers, Mr. Benjamin said.

An official of the Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) said the modalities of shifting to BS-VI norms were awaited from the Transport Commissionerate.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 7:56:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/stakeholders-gear-up-to-usher-in-bs-vi-vehicles/article30815084.ece

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