The Manesar-based International Centre for Automotive Technology (iCAT), the primary vehicle testing and research agency in Northern India, has conferred the country's first BS VI Type Approval homologation certification in the commercial vehicle space to Indore-based VE Commercial Vehicles (VECV).
The truck and bus manufacturer had applied for certification of its popular 3.3-litre E483 four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine, which is rated to produce 85kW of power and comes implemented in a host of CV models on offer from the company between 3.5T to 10T GVW range.
In order to convert the existing BS IV-compliant E483 engine to BS VI, VECV had to significantly upgrade the motor and alter the high-pressure fuel injection system, EGR, and also include an exhaust after-treatment system with a three-way catalytic converter having metallic substrates in order to clear the stricter World Harmonised Transient Cycle (WHTC), which is a transient engine dynamometer cycle for heavy-duty engines and tests the engine over a wider band of temperature and RPM as against the European Transient Cycle (ETC) meant for BS IV homologation testing.
Volvo Eicher’s 85kW E483 diesel-CNG engine will power the Eicher Pro 1049 (pictured above) and 1059 CNG medium-duty trucks.
VECV to convert seven engine platforms to BS VI CNG
The company had to spend Rs 10 crore in the conversion project and also convert the engine to run on CNG. With BS VI, the NOx emission content has been reduced by 87 percent, while particulate matter is down by over 45 percent in the E483 engine.
According to Rajinder Sachdeva, COO, Eicher Trucks and Buses, “This is the first engine in the CV space in the country to have been endowed with a BS VI certificate. We are very grateful that iCAT has given tremendous technical support in the development of this engine, and we look forward to working in future with iCAT as well.”
“We are in the process of converting seven of our existing engine platforms to BS VI CNG, which include five engines between the 2-2.8-litre capacity, while two are from the 3-3.8-litre capacity segment. These upgradations of our MD5 and MD8-series engines come at one-third the conversion cost of what they would cost in Europe,” he revealed.
Vinod Aggarwal, managing director and CEO, VECV, added, “We have been a technology leader with regard to Euro 6 and have been exclusive manufacturers for the Volvo Group’s medium-duty engine requirements from our Pithampur plant since the last five years. Getting this certification is another feather in our cap. We would be the first ones to launch our BS VI- compliant diesel-CNG engines on our truck and bus platforms after getting a conformity of production (CoP) certification, which will be well in advance ahead of the April 2020 deadline.”
“While we were very apprehensive towards achieving the BS VI compliance norms in the less than three years’ time available with the industry, the progress has been very optimistic,” he added.
According to Dinesh Tyagi, director, iCAT, “Being the first certification project for a heavy-duty engine, this project has given both iCAT and VECV much exposure. I am very optimistic that iCAT will continue to render its services to the industry which has to leapfrog from BS IV to BS VI.”
“The legislative limits for particulate matter is very tight in BS VI, as well as there is the introduction of particulate number and also a change in the testing procedures”, he concluded.
In the April-May 2018 period of the ongoing fiscal, VECV sold a total of 8,657 units, which is a 32.55 percent year-on-year growth, and sets its market share at 5.79 percent.