A huge step forward, says Centre for Science and Environment, of the road transport and highways ministry's move to notify implementation of Euro VI (Bharat Stage VI) emissions standards for all vehicles in 2020

December 29, 2016

  • This move to side-step Euro V norms and leapfrog directly to Bharat Stage VI (BSVI) emissions standards, will help reduce pollution impacts of motorisation in India

  • Biggest benefit will be in addressing toxic emissions from diesel vehicles. Only at the BSVI level, the gap between diesel and petrol emissions begin to close. This is also needed to cut cancer risk from dieselisation

  • For the first time, particulate matter standard adopted for two / three-wheelers

  • For the first time, monitoring of real world emissions testing of vehicles with portable monitoring system along with in-service regulations adopted

  • CSE also applauds Union ministry of petroleum and natural gas for committing to provide the matching fuel to enable BSVI implementation  

New Delhi, September 19, 2016: Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has welcomed the proactive move of the Union ministry of road transport and highways to notify implementation of the Bharat Stage VI (BSVI) emissions standards for all vehicles nation-wide in 2020. Thus, India will skip Euro V emissions standards altogether and go directly to BSVI in 2020. With this notification BSVI implementation has been advanced by several years from the original proposal.

Emissions benefits from this move will be significant, says CSE executive director Anumita Roychowdhury. In case of cars, the particulate matter (PM) norm will reduce by 82 per cent and nitrogen oxide (NOx) by 68 per cent; PM and NOx emissions from two-wheelers will reduce by 89 per cent and 76 per cent, respectively; and PM and NOx emissions from trucks and buses will drop by 50 per cent and 89 per cent, respectively.

Says Roychowdhury: “This is a game-changer decision and will help India leapfrog to much cleaner emissions. India thus takes the lead among developing countries in taking this step. The number of vehicles that India will add in the next decade is more than twice the current vehicle stock in the country. This will reduce time lag with Europe to six years in 2020 and lower the pollution impacts of the new vehicle fleet considerably. This is a much needed step to cut the toxic risk in all our cities and towns.”

Key highlights of the new Euro VI emissions standards:

  • Euro VI standards will nearly close the gap between diesel and petrol emissions. Under the current BSIV emissions standards, diesel cars are legally allowed to emit three times more NOx than petrol cars. This difference will reduce to 1.3 times under BSVI emissions standards. This will also reduce the cancer-causing potential of the new diesel feet. For the first time, clean diesel fuel with 10 ppm sulphur will come to India. This will enable adoption of advanced emissions control systems needed for Euro VI standards.
  • For the first time, India will enforce PM emissions standards and on-board diagnostic systems for two / three-wheelers. This is a significant move forward as given the sheer numbers of two-wheelers, their contribution to particulate load in cities tend to be high. This can now be controlled. Also, for the first time, hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxide emissions norms for two / three-wheelers will be regulated separately. Currently, these are combined for regulations which creates a margin to cushion higher NOx emissions from two-wheelers. Two-wheelers will also come equipped with on board diagnostic systems to alert about engine malfunction and wayward emissions.    
  • To prevent emissions cheating, real world emissions testing with portable emissions monitoring systems (PEMS) will be implemented along with in-service regulations. From April 2020, on-road emissions measurements will be carried out with the help of PEMS; from 2023 onwards, in-service conformity factor will be applied to ensure that emissions from vehicles remain within the stated margin. This will help prevent emissions cheating as was done by Volkswagen with the help of defeat devices.  This will also ensure that vehicles do not emit more than they are designed to emit on roads. However, advanced on-board diagnostic system has been delayed until 2023.

CSE experts say this advancement of BSVI emissions standards is a huge step forward. Points out Roychowdhury: “The original proposal was to implement these standards in 2024-25. Such a delay would have locked in enormous pollution in the explosive motorisation that India is going through right now. Given the high level of air pollution, very high toxic exposure to vehicular fumes would have continued to worsen the public health crisis.”

While welcoming this proactive move by the Central government, CSE hopes that the automobile industry will enable scheduled implementation of this decision to help reduce public health risk in the country.

  • Watch Anumita Roychowdhury on video talking about this issue: https://youtu.be/lml58wx3XDI

  • For more information or for interviews, please contact Vrinda Nagar, CSE Media Resource Centre, at 9654106253/ vrinda.nagar@cseindia.org.