Automobile manufacturers on Thursday told the government that they would support the decision to migrate to more stringent fuel emission norms for vehicles from 2020, but it would be extremely challenging to adapt the norms in four years.
The Union government had on January 6 advanced the deadline for enforcing BS-VI norms by a year to 2020 as a part of ongoing efforts to curb pollution.
In a meeting with road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday, CEOs of 26 car makers including Pawan Goenka of Mahindra and Mahindra, Rajeev Bajaj of Bajaj Auto, Ravi Kumar of Tata Motors and Vikram Kirloskar of Toyota Motors unanimously supported the government’s decision.
They said they would also figure out how to upgrade to existing models gradually.
Vinod K Dasari, Siam president and MD, Ashok Leyland said, “We will take this as a challenge, but we cannot guarantee that all manufacturers will be able to make this shift. If one of them cannot transition, it will have to shut factories, so be it.”
In countries like the US, shift from BS-IV (equivalent) norms to BS-V was done over five years and BS-V to BS-VI after six years, but in India it will have to be done at one go in four years.
“We had already started making investments in BS-V technology... Now we will directly go on to BS-VI,” said Pawan Goenka.
Auto-makers told Gadkari that the government would have to bring the oil companies on board, as the upgraded vehicles can run only on BS-VI grade fuel, and Gadkari assured that the government would offer all support.