As India gears up to leapfrog to BS VI auto fuel emission norms by April 2020 in an effort to curb pollution, Maruti Suzuki said on Thursday the measure will not bring any perceptible change in air quality but may push car prices by anywhere between Rs 20,000 to Rs 2 lakh.
Stating that cars contribute only 2% to the overall pollution, Maruti Suzuki chairman RC Bhargava said it will be a challenge to upgrade technologies to meet BS VI norms in just four years and prices could go up by anywhere between Rs 20,000 to Rs 2 lakh depending on the vehicles.
Citing a study by IIT Kanpur, Bhargava told PTI: “Cars contribute only 2% to the overall pollution, while 98% is from other sources. So, people should not be surprised when they don’t see any perceptible change in air quality even after implementation of Bharat Stage VI norms.”
He further said: “While we all should be concerned about air pollution, by concentrating 90% of our energy on source that is responsible for only 2% of pollution, are we addressing the real issue?”
Automobile manufacturers will have to work with engine control unit (ECU) and fuel injection systems makers to upgrade to meet the new requirements for particulate matter and NOx emissions simultaneously, he said.
He further suggested, “This has to be done separately in a customised manner for each vehicle model and four years time line will be a challenge to meet.”
When asked how much car prices could go up, he said: “It is too early to say by how much. It will all be guess work, it can be anywhere between Rs 20,000 to Rs 1 lakh or even Rs 2 lakh.”
Expressing similar views, PriceWaterhouse Partner and auto expert Abdul Majeed said: “The car price increase due to shift from BS IV to BS VI will not be too much in case of petrol vehicles. The increase will be anyway between Rs 10,000-20,000. For diesel cars it will be in the range of Rs 80,000-1,20,000 and for trucks it will be Rs 1.5 to 2 lakh.”
Most of the automakers will get impacted because everyone has a significant diesel vehicle portfolio in their overall product portfolio and the impact will be much more for SUV manufactures whose product portfolio mainly consist of diesel vehicles, he added.
In a bid to curb vehicular pollution, the government has decided to implement stricter emission norms of Bharat Stage (BS) VI from April 1, 2020 by skipping BS V altogether.
At present, BS IV norms are followed in parts of India and by April 1, 2017, the whole of the country is scheduled to be covered under it.
Currently, BS IV auto fuels are being supplied in whole of northern India covering J&K, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, parts of Rajasthan and western UP. The rest of the country has BS III grade fuel.
From April 1, 2016, all of Goa, Kerala, Karnataka, Telangana, Odisha, Union Territories of Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Andaman & Nicobar will get BS IV fuel.