Following the Supreme Court's verdict that only BS-VI-compliant vehicles will be sold in the country starting April 1, 2020, and no grace period will be granted to automakers for selling old stocks, apex industry body SIAM said it will adhere to it but availability of requisite fuel across the country will be critical to the successful switch over to BS-VI vehicles.
In a statement, Rajan Wadhera, president, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), said despite the huge challenge this change in the date poses for the auto industry, it is bound to honour the verdict. Earlier, the government had provided a clear window of three months for registering the fully built vehicles and six months for buses or trucks which may remain unsold post April 1, 2020.
However, honouring the verdict will be a tough task as the date of manufacturing BS-VI vehicles will now have to be further preponed leading to an even shorter time for vehicle testing and validation. Further, the technology solution providers who have to optimise BS-VI solutions for each vehicle model will also get less time.
As a result, availability of requisite BS-VI grade fuel across the length and breadth of the country has become even more critical, Wadhera said. "Any slippage on this front will have serious implications as BS-VI vehicles will not be able to operate optimally on lower grade fuels," he said.
The jump from BS-IV to BS-VI norms is drastic, not only from a technology standpoint for carmakers but also for the supply side as refineries have to produce higher grade fuels. Fuel suppliers are investing thousands of crores of rupees to upgrade their refineries and are sure to pass on the outlay to consumers in the form of higher per unit price.