The Indian government passed an order back in 2016 where it ruled that India would skip Bharat Stage V, the emission standards that India was set to use next after Bharat Stage IV, and would instead use Bharat Stage VI, which is similar to the Euro 6 standards used in Europe, and will come into effect on April 1, 2020.
The new emission norms are much stricter and significantly reduce the emission of air pollutants from automobiles, to help combat air pollution, which is a major issue in India at the moment.
The BS VI fuel that will be introduced will be much cleaner than BS IV fuel that is currently in use, with various Indian refineries spending an estimated 30,000 crore rupees to upgrade infrastructure to refine the BS-VI fuel. BS-VI fuel is already available in India’s capital New Delhi, and it will be introduced all over the country by next year’s April 2020 deadline.
The key difference between BS-IV and BS-VI is the sulphur content that is present in each of the fuels. BS VI is a cleaner fuel because it has lesser sulphur, reduced from 50 mg/kg (BS-IV) to 10 mg/kg (BS-VI). The nitrogen oxide levels in the fuel will also be reduced significantly, as much as 70% in diesel and 25% in petrol engines.
Car manufacturers have invested millions of dollars to make their engines BS-VI compliant before the deadline of April 1, 2020. Mercedes-Benz were one of the first manufacturers to introduce BS-VI ready cars, while Maruti recently announced the sale of the BS-VI-ready Ertiga, and the new entry to the Indian market, Kia, will introduce BS-VI-ready cars right from the start.
Yes, BS-IV cars can use BS-VI fuel, and it will have no negative impact on the engine of a BS-IV car. In fact, BS-VI fuel will help in the reduction of emissions in BS-IV cars.
Yes, BS-VI fuel is going to be costlier than BS-IV fuel as oil companies will want to recover costs that they have spent to refine the BS-VI fuel, which is set to cost 30,000 crore rupees, as per various reports. A recent report stated that fuel prices may be hiked upto Rs. 2 per liter. The cost of BS-VI cars will also be significantly higher than BS-IV cars, with reports estimating a hike of around Rs. 20,000 for petrol cars, and anywhere between Rs. 65,000 and Rs, 90,000 for diesel cars.