Trucks are the dumbest things on the Indian roads today, but that would soon be a thing of the past.
Cummins, one of the world’s biggest engine-makers, said the trucks will become smarter from April 1, when Bharat Stage IV (BS IV) emission norms will become mandatory for commercial vehicles across India.
In a conversation with HT on the sidelines of Tata Motors T1 Prima Truck Racing on Saturday, Anant Talaulicar, vice-president of Cummins Inc, and chairman and managing director of Cummins Group India, said, “So far in the BS III regime, the engines are mechanical products. But starting April, they will be electronically controlled. Thus, the BS IV engines will be cleaner, more powerful with better fuel economy and easier to service.”
Cummins India’s BS IV engines use selective catalytic reduction (SCR) and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) technologies controlled electronically. “And just like a smartphone, your engine can actually talk to you. You can have apps on it to control acceleration, fuel economy, and if there’s a problem, it says, ‘Hey! I’ve got a problem. Please look at this’.”
So will the BS IV engines be smarter than the truckers?
“Not exactly, but definitely smarter than the mechanical engines,” the Cummins chief said in jest, “I think our truck drivers are very smart. So meeting with their smartness will be a challenge.”
BS IV norms are already in place for all passenger vehicles in major cities, but will be mandatory for commercial vehicles across the country from April 1, 2017. The norm brings down emission of nitrogen oxide (NOx) from tailpipes of trucks and buses by 50% and of hazardous particulate matter by 80%.
Three years ago, Cummins India has invested around Rs 800-1,000 crore towards development of BS IV-compliant engines at its 225-acre Phaltan campus near Pune, the company chief said.
“For the customer, the vehicles are likely to become around 10% costlier,” Talaulicar said.
However, India will adopt the BS VI norms from April 1, 2020. “We’re skipping the Bharat Stage V. It’s a big jump. But since we’re a global company, we already have this technology in Europe (Euro V) . Our challenge would be localisation and adapting the technology, since the costs will be significantly higher for the Indian market.”
Talaulicar said Cummins engineers from the US, UK, China and India are working together for this transition.
Besides the 9-litre, 400hp engines doing the duty in Tata Prima trucks during the T1 racing on Sunday, Cummins India also engineered ISG12 – a 12-litre, 1000hp engine for making the most powerful truck in India.