The battle between oil companies and auto manufacturers with respect to implementation of Bharat Stage IV emission norms is yet to be solved, as each one seems to be blaming the other. Though the emission norms have been rolled out in 13 Indian cities on April 1, 2010, as per the plan given in the Auto Fuel policy. There are disagreements between the above mentioned parties, which would delay the target of covering 50 cities by 2015. A phase-wise launch was declared instead of pan India, since many refineries did not have the necessary fuel grade.
Manufacturers of automobiles in India claim that their readiness would be based on the availability of different fuel grades with the oil companies. But oil companies are not in agreement of the same. They say that since refinery capacity has now been upgraded significantly over the past few years, most refiners are prepared to supply the required grade of fuel. It is also suggested to implement the Stage IV emission norms state-wise, instead of the initial city-wise plan, depending on the readiness of auto companies. With respect to the fuel, it is the sulphur content that needs to be significantly reduced, since there is a rise of sulphur in the environment qt present, which in turn is quite harmful.
Speaking on the issue, I. V. Rao, Managing Executive Officer (Engineering) at Maruti Suzuki India said, “The Government wanted to bring out a single norm in the country because of the environment concern, but oil companies are not able to supply according to the new norm (from BS-II to BS-II and to BS-IV). As and when they are ready to supply according to specifications, we will also come out with the vehicles having upgraded engines.”
Automobile companies are also working overtime to increase the engine performance of a vehicle, for generating higher fuel efficiency. If one looks at recent launches, an example of the above is the Volkswagen Polo 1.2 GT TSI petrol, which gives a mileage of 17.2 kmpl, apart from generating a high power output of 104 bhp. In addition, Indian automobile companies are also trying to reduce kerb weight of vehicles such that lesser fuel is consumed.
It is claimed that most auto manufacturers are ready with the latest technology, some of whom are also ready with Euro-V (BS-V in India) compliant vehicles, meant for export markets. But the country's Auto Fuel Policy has not progressed beyond BS-IV, say observers. Echoing this opinion, P. Balendran, Vice President of General Motors India said, “Original equipment manufacturers have the capability and can meet any norm any time by a few technical changes for engines to adapt more refined fuel.”