The execution of the new emission norms from April 1 is set to drastically increase the cost of ownership of a car in India.
Automobile companies have already re-scheduled their production to meet the norms. They may increase prices by 1-1.5 per cent for petrol and 3-3.5 per cent for diesel automobiles. Cost of fuel where oil marketing companies are investing heavily for improvement, is also likely to rise by around 50 paise per litre for both petrol and diesel.
Car makers seem to be ready for the new emission norms and have made the necessary alterations on the current engines. The new cars with necessary upgradation will be available in the 13 cities where the BS IV emission norms will be implemented by April 1. There will be a revision in the price to the tune of 1 per cent for the petrol vehicles and 3 per cent for the diesel cars.
Initially, Bharat Stage (BS) III emission norms in the rest of the country were expected to be implemented on April 1 itself but following the inability of state-owned oil companies such as Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd to supply Euro III compliant fuel across India. The deadline is likely to be extended till October.
Auto makers, however, are ready to supply Euro III compliant vehicles to all parts of the country barring the thirteen big cities and even if the government postpones the implementation it may be difficult to adjust.
Sub-standard quality of fuel, especially diesel, has led to major problems for car owners in rural areas earlier. A similar situation may arise in the near future. If a BS III-compliant diesel vehicle is run on BS II fuel for a long time, it may lead to the catalytic converter in the car getting clogged. This may lead to low performance of the car and possible damage to the engine.
For consumers, the benefit lies in having a cleaner and greener tomorrow. Every consequent tightening of norms results in automobile pollution to go down by around 50 per cent. However, with a growth rate second only to China in the world, the domestic automobile industry is producing too many cars every year for the norms to have any impact.
Having Euro III norms across the country, except the thirteen cities, means that we are implementing norms that are ten years behind Europe. The automobile industry and oil companies need to work together to tackle the problem.