What are BS VI Norms?

Bharat Stage (BS) Emission Norms for the vehicles operated on the Indian roads was announced for the first time two decades back. These are considered the benchmarks in regulating how much pollutants the automobiles release in the air. BS VI refers to the sixth stage of the Bharat Stage Emission norms that will come into effect from 1 April 2020. The BS emission norms are based on the European emission norms and implement strict control over the emissions from vehicles. BS I was introduced in 2000 by the Central Pollution Control Board under the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change. This was followed by BS II in the year 2005, BS III in 2010 and BS IV in 2017. However, the wide spread alarms raised over the highly deteriorating condition of air pollution in the country has forced the government to skip the BS V and move straight away to BS VI.

About BS VI (BS 6) Norms

Referred to as the VI stage of Bharat Stage Emission norms, the main difference between the BS IV and the BS VI norms is the amount of sulphur content in the emissions. While BS IV compliant vehicles release 50 ppm (parts per million) sulphur, the BS VI compliant vehicles will only release 10 ppm sulphur. Also for the light duty diesel vehicles, the BS VI norms cut down the oxides of nitrogen emission limits. In case of light duty petrol vehicles, the emission of oxides of nitrogen are reduced by about 25 percent.

In case of light duty diesel vehicles, BS VI has also introduced heightened particulate matter (PM) emission standard placing an upper limit of 6 X 1011 /km. For the light duty gasoline vehicles, the PM and PN limits have been specified as part of BS VI while they are applied only in case of vehicles that are reported with direct injection engines.

BS VI also comes with a critical change in the approval procedures for light duty vehicles. It has mandated that portable emissions measurement systems (PEMS) be used for the purpose of in-service commission testing. This will help ensure the emissions performance recorded during the laboratory testing is also maintained during the real world driving conditions.

Implementation of BS VI in India

In 2018 October, the Supreme Court banned the sales of BS IV vehicles which should never be seen in the market from April 1, 2020. The Supreme Court has also said strictly that there will not be any grace time given to the vehicle manufacturers to sell the vehicles that are not in compliance with the BS VI norms after this deadline. So we can say the BS VI norms will take effect from April 1, 2020.

In order to comply with the BS VI norms, the vehicle manufacturers need to invest in technology that will let them upgrade the vehicle they already have with them in stock. Also, they will have to move to the new technology to make the new vehicles in compliant with the BS VI standards.
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