Last week, automakers urged the government to postpone stricter emission standards, which will be implemented in two phases in April 2022 and 2023. 

Although the Indian government is preparing to introduce strict European emission standards for automakers from next year, Maruti Suzuki’s Chairman RK Bhargava has reservations. Bhargava warned that changes in emission regulations will push up car prices and further hit industries that had fallen into recession before the pandemic.

According to reports, due to companies’ failure to deal with the financial impact of COVID 19, automakers are looking for an additional year to meet stricter fuel efficiency regulations aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) regulations require automakers to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions of electric vehicles or vehicles that use alternative fuels. These changes require automakers to reduce emissions from 13% to 113 grams per kilometer.

Automakers say it is difficult to make more investments to comply with stricter regulations, especially when the pandemic has slowed demand and reduced sales, hurting profits. But this will enable India, the world’s fifth-largest automobile market, to reduce pollution, achieve the carbon dioxide emission targets set by the Paris Climate agreement, and reduce fuel import costs. According to data from the World Bank, reducing emissions is critical to India’s efforts to tackle some of the world’s worst air pollution, which has caused the country to lose 8.5% of its GDP.

According to the Center for Science and Environment, by 2025, about 20 million old cars in India will reach their end of life, which will cause huge damage to the environment. 

It will be difficult for automakers to invest resources in new technologies because the industry has invested up to 900 billion rupees to switch to current emission standards, which includes reducing nitrogen oxide emissions by 68%. 

India proposed the first phase of its CAFE measures in April 2017, which will enable automakers to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions of new cars to 130 grams per kilometer by the end of March next year. In the second phase, starting from April 1, 2022, India proposed an additional reduction to 113 grams per kilometer.

The stricter regulations also aim to bring India’s regulations on automakers in line with global standards.