The Government of India has taken several policy measures and significant interventions to reduce vehicular emissions and improve fuel efficiency. India has followed the regulatory pathway for fuel quality and vehicle emissions standards termed as Bharat Stage (BS). The transition has been in phases, considering the time and money that is required at the refinery end and in terms of vehicle production.
India’s fuel quality standards have been gradually tightened since the mid-1990s. The fuel upgradation programme took off with notification of vehicular emission norms for new vehicles in 1991.
The emission norms were revised in 1996. Low-lead gasoline was introduced in 1994 in the four metros, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.
On Feb 1, 2000, unleaded gasoline was mandated nationwide.
BS 2000 (Euro I equivalent, Bharat Stage I) vehicle emission norms were introduced for new vehicles from April 2000.
Bharat Stage II (Euro II equivalent) emission norms for new cars were introduced in Delhi from the year 2000 and extended to the other three metro cities in the year 2001.
The emission norms for CNG and LPG vehicles were notified in the year 2000 and 2001, respectively. BS-III was implemented in phases during 2005-2010.
The current BS-IV fuel with 50 ppm (parts per million) sulphur was introduced in the year 2010 and it was to cover the entire country by 1-4-2017.
In 2016, the Govt. of India decided to meet international best practices by leapfrogging directly from BS-IV to BS-VI norms by skipping BS-V altogether by 1st April, 2020.
As the technology for BS V is not very different, it was rightly decided to go straight to BS VI grade fuels from BS IV.
As part of its focus on clean energy, the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas is actively promoting city gas distribution networks and connecting major cities with “green highways,” which will have vehicles running on CNG and LNG with adequate re-fuelling stations.
Lakhs of households are getting the benefits of piped natural gas (PNG) supplies.
27.5 lakh vehicles in the country are benefiting from availability of CNG.
So far, 80 cities / districts of 19 States/UTs have been covered for development of PNG/CNG network.