India successfully implemented BS VI emission standards in April 2020 and that only meant preparing for the next regulatory milestone. As India continues to work towards keeping the emission regulations up-to-date and work toward a greener India, several challenges loom large.
Speaking at the two-day Autocar Professional Virtual Conclave - ‘Meeting Emission Challenges’ - Pradeep Kumar Thimmayan, VP, R&D, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles, said: “The industry has three priorities at hand – how to reduce emissions to improve the environment, how to enhance fuel efficiency that would support India’s mission of slashing crude oil import and most importantly, how to improve road safety.”
With regards to taking on the first challenge of improving the environment, Thimmayan added that after having implemented BS VI, India should now take the path similar to Europe in terms of adopting the Euro 7 emission standards.
“What we have clearly seen is that Europe has tightened the standards in an incremental way. Therefore, an efficient approach would require defining milestones up to Euro 7,” he remarked.
He further added that the development and testing of any new technology solution requires at least 3-4 years of time. Therefore, having a clear roadmap will allow OEMs to offer technologically-robust solutions.
Thimmayan said that India has a mission of reducing crude imports by 10 percent this year, and tightening fuel efficiency norms will help achieve energy security sooner. “That is our wish, and we are working in that direction of making our trucks more fuel efficient. So, our primary focus is how we could support nation’s vision of improving fuel efficiency.”
Thimmayan pointed out that, “Our strong wish would be to further make the heavy-duty fuel efficiency (HDFE) norms for commercial vehicles more stringent. If we make these stringent even by up to 10 percent, India can save around 800 million litres of diesel and 200 metric tonnes of CO2 in a year.”
However there are many ways to reaching the same target. Thimmayan strongly believes that, “model-specific fuel efficiency norms in case of commercial vehicles, is the best approach for ensuring fuel efficiency of individual products, instead of CAFE norms. Even Japan is following the same methodology, so, we believe that it will help India in the larger goal of achieving a cleaner environment.”
Alternate fuels and electrification
DICV, over the medium-term, is focusing on the use of alternate fuels to help accelerate environment protection, while its long-term roadmap is in-line with the Group’s global strategy of moving towards electrification.
But, when it comes to India, he believes that the electrification of the M&HCV segment is still far away, “We believe that the first ones to migrate will be smaller CVs – in the sub-1 or 2 tonne payload categories,” Thimmayan concluded.
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