Owning a car in India is expensive, and things on the horizon tell a bleaker tale. With the introduction of a host of fresh safety and emission norms by the Indian government in 2015, carmakers have their work cut out. Cars are set to cost 1.5-2.5 percent more and the prices of two-wheelers will go up by two percent.
Although this change will see costs go up, what it also does is pave the way for cleaner emissions and improved safety. Cars will now have to abide by Bharat Stage V (BS-V) norms (similar to Euro V), which will mean that existing cars will need redesigned powertrains, and new cars will have to abide by BS-V norms. Also, new regulations on cleaner fuel will be in place, where the sulphur content has to be less than 10ppm. It will also become mandatory for cars to have fuel efficiency labels, enabling buyers to choose more fuel-efficient cars. Also, the government is looking to allow cars to convert to hybrids by installing special kits. Also, two-wheelers will now have to come with a control unit to prevent evaporation of fuel when parked. This comes as standard on cars, and this will prevent unnecessary fuel wastage from bikes too.
As far as safety is concerned, the standards for crash testing have been raised. Higher standards for head-on, offset-front, and lateral collisions will come into place. New rules for rear impacts will also be in place with the aim to protect passengers and allow doors to be opened from the inside in case of accidents, and also to minimise fuel leaks. Also, cars need to meet pedestrian safety requirements to minimise the impact on collision. Additionally, cars will have to come equipped with a strap-on seat for small children. There will also be new compatibility rules for the car’s electronics to ensure that they don’t interfere with each other’s functioning. And, to try and cut down on traffic snarls, the government has made RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags a compulsion for all new cars. These tags will reduce waiting time by enabling smooth movement through toll plazas and will enable easy payment of parking charges.