Context: The Indian automakers will face difficulties in complying with BS-VI norms if imports from China are stopped due to the border standoff.
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- Imports of key spare parts from China are critical for manufacturing vehicles that can meet BS-VI emission norms especially electronics and engine-related components.
- China has dominance in Global Supply chains due to which the Indian Companies are dependent on it.
- In February Companies like HeroMotorCorp, TVS had to cut production owing to the difficulty in imports from China.
- The alleged Chinese involvement in spreading the COVID-19 induced India to reduce its dependence on the country.
- Further, the recent aggression of China in Ladakh (particularly Galwan Valley and Pangong Lake) has made relations reach a new low which ultimately has intensified the demand for reducing dependence on Chinese products.
Why is the Auto industry dependent on China?
- The primary reason is the lower cost at which critical components can be imported from China.
- Apart from this, the auto industry itself lacks the capability to produce these components.
The industry was induced to switch to BS-VI in a short span owing to which they were unable to create indigenous supply networks. With relations between both countries deteriorating, most automakers are now devising ways to locally manufacture some of these critical spare parts. However, these plans could take 3-5 years to be implemented.
Bharat Stage Norms:
- These are norms nearly similar to European (Euro) emission norms and were introduced in 2000.
- They are instituted and mandated by the Central Government.
- The Environment Ministry decides the fuel standards while the implementation is taken care of by the Central Pollution Control Board.
- The objective of such norms is to regulate the output of various forms of air pollutants from internal combustion engine equipment, including those of motor vehicles.
- It has been designed in such a manner that the more stringent the BS norm goes, the lower is the tolerance level for pollutants in automobile tailpipe emissions that is a product of fuel combustion in a vehicle’s engine.
- Simply put, automobiles become cleaner and greener with each upgrade of BS Norms in India.
- The Indian Government decided to skip BS V norms due to rising environment conditions and asked automakers to switch to BS VI after BS IV.
- BS VI is low sulphur fuel and estimated to reduce 80% of the sulphur content in comparison to BS IV when compared to BS IV.
- In the case of NOx emissions, BS VI gains an advantage over BS IV as it brings down NOx emissions by 70% in diesel cars and by 25% in petrol engines.
- BS-VI can bring PM in diesel cars down by 80%.
- It also makes on-board diagnostics (OBD) mandatory for all vehicles.
- It is a device that informs the vehicle owner or the repair technician how efficient the systems in the vehicle are.