The government stood firm on its decision to implement BS VI by 2020 despite the auto industry calling it an ‘extremely challenging’ task to move up to the stricter emission norms in just four years.
In a meeting with Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, 26 heads of automobile companies in India have suggested that compliance of BS VI norms be first applicable to all the new models to be launched by 2020 and the existing models to adapt to it immediately afterwards.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, SIAM President Vinod Dasari said the industry leaders had explained to the minister that moving from BS IV to BS V takes five years, and from BS V to BS VI it takes six years. There is no country ever which has gone directly to BS VI.
“Against 10-12 years, the industry players had suggested to do it in seven years or may be six years. However, he (Gadkari) asked if we could bring BS VI by 2020. The industry said it will be extremely challenging task but we will work a way so that all new models will come with BS VI from 2020 that is roughly what we have agreed,” Dasari said.
Commenting on the stand of the auto industry, he said: “We have taken it as a challenge and we will try to find ways to make BS VI all the new models and the existing models to be phase in immediately after that.”
During the meeting, the first of a series of consultations to be held, the automobile manufacturers sought assurance from the government on fuel availability across India when the country moves to the stricter emission norms by 2020.
According to official sources, the manufacturers expressed concern that BS VI compliant engine could not run on any other specification fuel, unlike BS-IV compliant vehicles that can run on fuel meant for BS-III compliant engine.
“They urged the minister to take oil companies on board to make available BS VI compliant fuel by the deadline,” the official source said.
Hyundai Motor India Senior Vice-President (Marketing and Sales) Rakesh Srivastava said the industry sought the minister’s assurance that BS VI fuel would be available across the country by 2020 stating “parallel technology can’t run” as is being done in different parts of India now.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor Vice-Chairman Vikram Kirloskar said: “We will follow whatever deadline the government has set. It is going to be difficult but we will do it.”