In the light of recent events which pose a concern over the environment, our government has finally taken to launch some that we bet you’ve been hearing ‘BS6’ a little too often since the last few months. Bharat Stage Emissions Standard (BSES) is the governing organisation for emissions from all sorts of vehicles in India. Applicable to both two and four-wheelers, the Indian government has issued an ultimatum which states “only BS6 vehicles can be sold and registered post 31 March 2020”. You may observe that various manufacturers have already introduced BS6 variants of their popular models but a huge majority of cars sold today are still only BS4-compliant. So, how is the switch from BS4 to BS6 going to work out and most importantly, what you need to know is what exactly is BS6 and how does it impact your buying decision? We’ve got answers to all these queries let’s read further
What is basically BS6?
Bharat Stage Emission Standards are emission rules and regulations put forward by the government of India in order to regulate the output of pollutants from motor vehicles. These set of guidelines are set by the Central Pollution Control Board under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. The first standard was introduced in 2000 with the moniker ‘India 2000’. BS2 and BS3 followed later in 2005 and 2010, while we currently follow the BS4 norms which came to order in 2017. Observing the timeline, you’ll see that the gap between different standards is decreasing at an alarming rate. BS6 is the sixth number of the norm which, in comparison, is a substantial leap from its predecessor (also because we are skipping BS5). BS6 norms are fairly stricter to help cut down emissions by an impressive margin.
How much of a difference?
BS6 compliant petrol vehicles should be 25 per cent cleaner which can be achieved by reducing NOx (Nitrogen Oxide) numbers from 80mg/km to 60mg/km. For diesel, the BS6 norms aim at reducing three pollutants — HC (Hydrocarbons) + NOx, PM (Particulate Matter) and NOx reduction by 43, 68 and 82 per cent respectively. The BS6-compliant engines make use of absolute modern technology which help them attain the above-mentioned targets. Some of these include ‘Lean NOx traps (LNTs)’, selective catalytic reduction (SCR) units, and diesel particulate filters (DPFs) which are very necessary when it comes down to the reduction of emissions by a vehicle.
Will the transition from BS4 to BS6 affect performance and fuel efficiency of the engine?
Yes. In layman terms, a BS6-compliant engine will be more restricted in comparison and will thereby result in a minor drop in power and efficiency. Manufacturers can make the engine produce the same amount of power as before. However, we might expect the fuel economy to take a small hit. For example, the new Maruti Suzuki Dzire with the 1.2-litre BS6-compliant petrol engine is claimed to return 21.21 kmpl. The BS4-compliant version of the same engine was rated to return 22kmpl (both ARAI figures).
Will BS6 fuel be more expensive?
As of now, BS6 fuels costs the same as BS4 fuel in Delhi and other metro cities. But the refinement process and the up-gradation of refineries to churn out BS6 fuel might impact the fuel prices. So, just to be on a safer side we might see a hike in fuel prices as time marches forward or once the norms come into place.