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Govt notifies BS-VI emission norms for quadricycles

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    2nd Jun, 2020

The government has notified BS-VI emission norms for quadricycles, paving the way for higher production of the new category of vehicle that was introduced less than two years ago.

Context

The government has notified BS-VI emission norms for quadricycles, paving the way for higher production of the new category of vehicle that was introduced less than two years ago.

About

What is quadricycle?

  • A quadricycle is the size of a three-wheeler but with four tyres and is fully covered like a car.
  • It has an engine like that of a three-wheeler. This makes it a cheap and safe mode of transport for last-mile connectivity.
  • A quadricycle cannot be more than 3.6 metres long, should have an engine smaller than 800cc, and should not weigh more than 475 kilograms.
  • In 2018, the government had introduced the quadricycle segment with necessary standards to produce the vehicle.
  • It had approved the vehicle for both commercial and private use.
  • India's automobile industry has been urging the ministry to set BS-VI emission standards for quadricycles, after the norms were rolled out for other segments starting 1 April, 2020.
  • Currently, only a few automobile players In India manufacture quadricycles.
  • After the government had allowed the introduction of the vehicle in 2018, Bajaj Auto Ltd was the first to commercially launch 'Qute’ under this segment.

The new notification: 

  • This notification completes the process of BS VI for all L, M, and N category vehicles in India. The emission norms are in line with EU with World Motorcycle Test Cycle (WMTC). 
    • WMTC is a system of driving cycles used to measure fuel consumption and emissions in motorcycles.
    • The methods are stipulated as part of the Global Technical Regulation established under the United Nations' World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations, also known as WP.

What is Bharat Stage Emission Standards?

  • Bharat stage (BS) emission standards are laid down by the government to regulate the output of air pollutants from internal combustion engine and spark-ignition engine equipment, including motor vehicles.
  • The central government has mandated that vehicle makers must manufacture, sell and register only BS-VI (BS6) vehicles from April 1, 2020.
  • The first emission norms were introduced in India in 1991 for petrol and in 1992 for diesel vehicles.
  • Followed these, the catalytic converter became mandatory for petrol vehicles and unleaded petrol as introduced in the market.

The difference between BS-IV and BS-VI:

  • Both BS-IV and BS-VI are unit emission norms that set the maximum permissible levels for pollutants that an automotive or a two-wheeler exhaust can emit.
  • Compared to the BS4, BS6 emission standards are stricter.
  • Whereas makers use this variation to update their vehicles with new options and safety standards, the biggest modification comes in the permissible emission norms.
  • The following are the key differences between BS4 and BS6 emission norms:
    • Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) and Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) are being introduced with the roll-out of Bharat Stage VI norms, which were not a part of Bharat Stage IV.
    • Real Driving Emission (RDE) will be introduced in India for the first time with the implementation of Bharat Stage VI emission norms.
      • RDE will measure a vehicle’s emission in real-time conditions against laboratory conditions.
    • Onboard Diagnostics (OD) has been made mandatory for all vehicles with BS6.
    • Sulphur and Nitrogen Oxide The most crucial difference between BS6-grade fuel and BS4-grade fuel will be in terms of Sulphur and Nitrogen Oxide content.
      • The sulphur traces in BS6 fuel is five times lower (10 ppm) as compared to sulphur traces in BS4 fuel (50 ppm).
      • Further, nitrogen oxide level for BS6-grade diesel engines and petrol engines will be brought down by 70% and 25%, respectively.

Conclusion:

Automobile manufacturers will now be able to produce petrol, diesel, CNG and biofuel quadricycles for the Indian market. While the Ministry had notified BS-VI standards for all vehicle categories long ago, the same had been pending for quadricycles.

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