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Emission cut will fuel more eco-friendly cars

Swaraj Baggonkar  |  Mumbai 

Welcoming the government’s plan to cut down intensity by 20-25 per cent by 2020, India’s said it will compel manufacturers to produce greener cars with improved mileage.

Minister of State for Environment and Forests on Thursday clarified that intensity cut, which was worked out by the and the Twelfth Five Year Plan, would include a five-step plan of action for mandatory fuel efficiency standards for vehicles by 2011.

The automobile manufacturers said they were not under any pressure from the Centre to develop more fuel-efficient vehicles, while keeping pollution levels under check.

Most manufacturers, including Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, Ashok Leyland, Bajaj Auto, TVS Motors and Hero Honda are already working on advanced indigenous technologies to build greener vehicles.

I V Rao, managing executive officer — engineering, Maruti Suzuki India, said: “The Bharat Stage norms have been identified for 11 major cities. Though there are no mandatory (fuel efficiency) norms for manufacturers, (but) they are anyway forced to develop fuel-efficient vehicles because of consumer preference for such vehicles. We are following the European model (of emission) with a gap of five years. The government has made it clear that it will not bow to any international pressure on CO2 emission norms.”

From April 1, 11 cities, including Mumbai, National Capital Region (NCR), Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Pune, Surat, Kanpur and Agra would adopt Bharat Stage IV (BS IV) emission norm, while the remaining cities would upgrade to BS III.

K Sridharan, chief financial officer, Ashok Leyland, said: “The is already on the same lines of emission standards as laid down by the government. No changes will be required moving forward.”

According to experts, the pressure will be on developed automobile markets like United States, Europe and Japan to regulate carbon emissions rather than developing markets like China and India. China’s car market is already thrice the size of India where sales of 1.3 million cars was reported last financial year.

First Published: Sat, December 05 2009. 00:13 IST