Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari today held talks with apex industry body, the Society of India Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), which has urged postponement of implementation of CAFE Phase II regulations to April 1, 2024. SIAM has said that the automotive industry is still recovering from the impact of Covid-19 and slow consumer demand.
While agreeing to examine SIAM’s request, Gadkari made it clear that if the industry is meeting stringent anti-pollution standards in countries to which they are exporting vehicles, the same standards must be adhered to in India as well.
The Minister has asked the delegation to come back next month with a detailed study on what steps have been taken by the industry on meeting the BS VI Phase I standards, and the financial implications of going ahead with BS VI, CAFE Phase II standards, before a final decision can be taken on the demand to postpone its implementation.
CAFE norms are applicable in a number of developed markets and some developing countries like India, where they came into force from April 1, 2017. Designed to lower consumption of fuel and enhance fuel efficiency by lowering CO2 emissions, these standards are aimed at reducing the country’s massive dependence on oil imports and also for cutting down on vehicular pollution.
The words ‘Corporate Average’ in CAFE means the weighted average of sales volumes for vehicle manufacturers. CAFE standards are applicable for vehicles running on petrol, diesel, CNG and LPG.
The Indian government’s CAFÉ or Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency norms have been designed to ensure parity with the global automotive industry in terms of vehicular emissions. These norms call for cars to turn 30% more fuel efficiency from 2022 and 10 percent or more by the end of 2021.
Concurrently with BS VI, to meet the newly introduced CAFE targets, OEMs will need to find efficient and clean powertrain options. In Phase 1 (2017-2022), CAFE norms require average corporate CO2 emissions to be less than 130 gm/km by 2022. In Phase II (2022 onwards), this stands reduced to less than 113 gm/km and could be further tightened to 108 or 104 gm/km.
Transport Minister moots flex-fuel vehicles
Gadkari also urged car makers to give priority to the indigenous production of flex engines, which can be used in vehicles using alternative fuels such as ethanol. The Minister said that, “with ethanol beginning to be easily available in the country, and more than 70 percent of gasoline consumption being done by two-wheelers, there is a need to develop indigenous technology for flex fuel vehicles.”