Bharat Stage VI(BS 6) Norms: Everything you need to know

We have been hearing about BS6 for quite some time now. But before going in-depth into Bharat Stage 6 norm, let’s start with what BS 6 Norms are.

The Bharat Stage Emissions Standards (BSES) were introduced as new emissions standards in the year 2000, to keep a check on air pollutants from an internal combustion engine of a vehicle. These standards are set by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) under the Ministry of Environment and Climate change.

The BS (Bharat Stage) norms are based on EURO (European) emissions standards. Initially, it was called “India 2000” as it was rolled out in the year 2000, followed by BS2 and BS3 in 2001 and 2005 respectively. It wasn’t until BS4 (4th stage) (BSIV), much more strict emissions mandates were enforced.

In 2016, the Government of India decided to skip BS 5 altogether due to the alarming increase in pollution levels and implement Bharat Stage 6 (BS 6) by the year 2020.

What is Bharat Stage VI?

Bharat Stage VI is the sixth mandate for vehicular emission standard which will bring imperative changes in the Indian Auto-industry in terms of pollutant emissions. BS 6 is a stringent, more restrictive norm that is framed to help India deal with its battle against air pollution.

At this moment, India lags behind all the developed countries and advanced automobile markets by almost 5- 10 years in terms of managing pollution standards. With the BS6 norm coming into effect, India plans to come at par with these countries.

The Government of India has mandated PAN India implementation of the BS6 emission norms from 1st April 2020 for all the vehicles. It applies to both petrol as well as the diesel engines.

That means you won’t be able to register a BS4 Vehicle(In our Case Two Wheelers) starting 1st April 2020; only BS6 integrated Vehicles will be registered.

There are many reasons why India has directly jumped from BS 4 to Bs 6, key reasons among which is the degrading air quality in the cities.

Following the Paris Climate Agreement signed by India in 2016, India has taken the responsibility to cut down its carbon footprint by 35-55% within the next 12 years from what was recorded in 2005. These carbon footprint obligations have forced the country to move directly to BS VI norms bypassing the BS V norms.

The emission of NOx (Nitrogen Oxide), Particular matter and NMHC (Non-methane Hydrocarbons) emissions are taking a toll on the health of the citizens in the country and with introduction of BS6, these will be greatly reduced. These norms also include a wide list of technology modifications under the hood, most importantly, the reduction in Sulphur traces in fuel is by 5 times.

How is BS6 different from BS4?

  1. The norm will bring a change in the fuel, as the BS6 compliant engine require BS6 fuel. A BS6 vehicle using BS4 fuel will not adhere to the BS6 norms.

Indian oil companies have already started distributing BS6-grade Petrol and Diesel at 391 filling stations in Delhi with plans to make BS6 fuel available in all 13 major metro cities by April 2019.

  1. A vital difference between BS6 and the outgoing BS4 fuel is that the BS6 fuel contains 5 times fewer Sulphur traces (10 parts per million) compared to BS4 (50 ppm). NOx (Nitrogen Oxide) level will be brought down by a staggering 70% for Diesel engine and 25% for Petrol Engines.

  2. The BS6 brings along a plethora of changes, most significant being the mandatory OBD (Onboard Diagnostics) for all vehicles.

  3. RDE (Real Driving Emission) will be introduced for the first time that will measure the vehicle’s emission in real-world conditions against simulated conditions.

  4. Introduction of DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) and SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) for Diesel engines.

  5. BS 6 complaint vehicles will have better after sale value than BS 4 as it is more refined than the latter.

Changes to the Vehicle Engine Makeup to make it BS 6 Compatible

To Reduce the Effect of These Harmful gases; CO2 – Carbon di Oxide; CO – Carbon Monoxide; The Engine of the New Vehicles Would be Upgraded where the Combustion chamber of the Vehicle would be made more Efficient, this process will lead to a slow combustion process and refined atomization of fuel resulting in far less emission of fuel from the Vehicle, which in eventuality will lead to less Pollution.

NOx – Oxides of Nitrogen; PM – Particulate Matter will be controlled by an Exhaust treatment system and a particulate filter.

To Manage a Diesel Vehicle; An SCR(Selection Catalytic reduction) System would be Used.

Effects of the Modifications

NOx – 25% Reduction in Petrol Vehicles.

68% Reduction in Diesel Vehicles.

PM Level – 82% Reduction

Compatibility of BS-VI Fuel

For Petrol Vehicles

There is nothing to worry about if you own a petrol vehicle. A Petrol car running on BS 4 engine can use BS 6 fuel and vice versa. This is because the chemical composition of BS4 and BS 6 fuels are almost the same.

For Diesel Vehicles

Things get a bit tricky for diesel vehicles. BS4 diesel had a much higher Sulphur traces (50 ppm), as compared to BS6 (10 ppm). Sulphur in diesel cars acts as a lubricant for diesel injector. So, using BS6 diesel in a BS 4 engine will wear out quickly because of less (Sulphur)lubrication.

Also, using BS4 fuel in a BS6 vehicle can cause a lot of problems. As BS6 engines have been re-engineered with sophisticated electronics and a re-developed exhaust system, DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) and SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction). Using BS4 diesel which contains very high Sulphur content eventually clogging up the diesel particulate filter & will affect the fuel efficiency.

Impact on the market

The Implementation of Bharat Stage 6 will be an expensive affair. The additional cost of Research and Development on the newer engines will eventually fall on the customers, making vehicles expensive by at least 10-20%.

Most of the companies have developed their line-ups of BS 6 vehicles. We just have to wait and see how much of a price difference will prevail in the market.

Manufacturers are now left with a huge inventory of older BS 4 complaint vehicles. To clear up the stock, they are offering record high discounts. We wouldn’t recommend you buy Larger Diesel Vehicles due to their compatibility issues. However, you can look for great BS 4 complaint Petrol vehicles as they are feasible and compatible with newer fuels.

Way Forward

Bharat Stage 6 is definitely a huge leap for the Indian Auto-Sector. It will lead manufacturers to make new engines to contribute to a safer and cleaner environment. Be that as it may, BS 6 will make up to a cleaner environment but our efforts in reducing air pollution levels in India is still halfway met. We need more such norms in every sector to bring a visible change. As of now, we can just say it with optimism that BS 6 is just one more step towards a better future.

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