India may opt for Euro VI emission levels in 2017, skipping Euro V. As of now, Euro IV emission levels are applicable in 13 major cities of India and rest of the country has Euro III norms.
By 2012, entire country is supposed to have uniform emission levels of Euro IV for vehicles.
Introduction of new norms depends on improvement in vehicle engine technology and availability of cleaner fuel by petroleum companies.
The government has not prescribed any road map for introduction of higher emission standards after 2012, therefore, an inter-ministerial group has been constituted to discuss future auto fuel policy.
In its recommendation to the committee, the environment ministry has said that India should directly opt for Euro VI norms, which would be applicable in Europe by 2015, instead of Euro V, applicable in Europe since September 2010.
The ministry officials have told the committee that the new norms should be applicable from 2017 as it will provide enough time to automakers and petroleum companies to enhance technology to meet the new standards.
The petroleum companies had to invest Rs 40,000 crore to meet Euro IV norms and it is estimated that similar amount will be required to meet Euro VI norms.
There is not much difference between Euro V and Euro VI, except for emission levels for respirable suspended particulate matter (RSPM). In Euro VI, emission level for RSPM for passenger vehicles is half of that in Euro V norms.
But, it will mean a huge difference from the present Euro V levels, where RSPM levels allowed is ten times higher than Euro VI levels.
”It will mean huge investment for the petroleum companies,” said a senior environment ministry official, requesting anonymity. “The rising international fuel prices and high fuel subsidies have been cited as reasons by the petroleum companies for not meeting Euro VI emissions norms by 2015 as is the case in Europe.”
The discussions for the new auto fuel policy was based on the findings of the Air Appropriation Studies conducted in six metros of India. The studies have blamed dust for high RSPM levels in Indian cities while giving clean chit to vehicles.
The Centre for Science and Environment had contested the findings citing flaws in the data used to reach the conclusion. The Central Pollution Control Board, which got the studied conducted, has admitted that the study was not foolproof and there are some errors.
Despite this, the ministry has agreed with the key recommendation of the study financed by oil companies that India should opt for Euro VI in 2017. Officials say the committee will soon submit its recommendation on the new auto fuel policy to the government to take a final call.
India has followed the European emission norms for its vehicles through its first auto fuel policy in 2002.
Euro norms for RSPM
Euro I : 0.14
Euro II : 0.08
Euro III: 0.05
Euro IV 0.025
Euro V 0.005
Euro IV 0.0025
Note : All figures in gram per km of emission