Real-time random emission tests for cars in India from 2020Staff Writer | September 20, 2016
The government of India will introduce real-time random emission tests for on-road vehicles from 2020 to prevent a repeat of the Volkswagen emission scandal.
Ecology India has no rule for emission tests
The road transport and highways ministry has already issued the notification for implementing the BS VI standards. Real-time emission tests are a part of the notification.
"In case the on-road emission results were different from the lab results, the government could not have acted on the auto company for cheating. We could have just pressurized them to recall vehicles. These tests would give us the real picture," a senior government official said.
"During type approval applicable from April 1, 2020, real world driving cycle emission measurement will be carried out for data collection," the government notification said.The need for real world driving cycle measurement, as the on-road emission tests are called, had arisen after the Volkswagen scandal.
The auto company allegedly had a software fitted in cars that sensed when the car was being tested and then activated equipment that reduced emissions. But the software turned the equipment down during regular driving, increasing emissions far above the permissible limits.
"Global analysis has shown that vehicles generate substantially higher emissions on road than in laboratory conditions, especially in case of emissions of diesel vehicles," the official added.
The BS VI notification also has a clause for vehicle ageing test that could be done at 160,000 km or after five years. In a bid to curb vehicular pollution, the government had earlier decided that it would leapfrog directly from BS IV emission norms for petrol and diesel to BS VI.
The BS norms regulate the amount of pollutants a vehicle is allowed to emit. The urgency to maintain the deadline for the introduction of BS VI has been prompted by the rising concern over air pollution.
Emissions from vehicles account for at least 14% of the air pollution in cities. In February, the transport ministry had invited suggestions from all stakeholders on the BS VI roll-out.
Auto industry had pleaded to the government that it was difficult to switch to BS VI directly as there were technical problems including the testing of vehicles. The industry was also sceptical over the petroleum ministry's ability to provide BS VI fuel as per the deadline as it involved major overhaul of oil refineries with an investment of over Rs 30,000 crore.
However, road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari made it clear to auto companies that they had no option but to switch to environment friendly BS VI norms by 2020. ■