Automobile Sector Current Affairs

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Government withdraws subsidy to mild hybrid vehicles under FAME scheme

The Union Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises has withdrawn subsidy given to mild hybrid vehicles under FAME India (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles in India) scheme.

 Earlier, mild hybrid, strong hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electric vehicles were given incentives under the FAME India scheme.

What is mild hybrid vehicle?
  • A mild hybrid vehicle has an electric motor, which on its own cannot run a vehicle but assists normal engine by using recovered energy stored in a battery and helps save fuel
  • It uses the energy generated while applying the brakes and turns it into electric energy which is then stored in a battery. This energy can then be used to turn the starter motor when the car’s start stop system needs it.
  • Mild-hybrids are 7-15% more fuel efficient as compared to conventional hybrid systems that can run on pure electric power for short distances too.

About FAME India Scheme 

  • The FAME India scheme was launched in 2015 under National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) with an aim to promote eco-friendly vehicles in the country.
  • It objectives is to provide fiscal and monetary incentives for adoption and market creation of both hybrid and electric technologies vehicles in the country.
  • It will also support the hybrid or electric vehicles market development and its manufacturing eco-system in the country in order to achieve self-sustenance in stipulated period.
  • It is being administered by the Heavy Industries Ministry. It will provide demand incentives to electric and hybrid vehicles from two-wheeler to buses.

National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020: It aims to achieve national fuel security by promoting hybrid and electric vehicles in the country. It has set ambitious target of 6-7 million sales of hybrid and electric vehicles year on year from 2020 onwards.

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Government launches BS-IV grade fuels

Government has formally launched Bharat Stage-IV (BS-IV) grade transportation fuel across the country to keep carbon emission in check.

The launch came days after the Supreme Court banned sale and registration of BS-III vehicles from 1 April, 2017. It sets target of ushering in BS-VI fuel by April 2020 by skipping BS-V fuel. 

All state-run oil marketing companies will provide BS-IV-compliant fuel at their 53,500 retail fuel stations across the country.

BS-IV fuels
  • BS-IV fuels contain far less sulphur than BS-III fuel. Sulphur in fuel makes it dirtier and lowers the efficiency of catalytic converters, which control emissions.
  • The BS-IV complaint vehicles release less pollutants Carbon Mono-oxide (CO), Hydrocarbon (HC), Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx), Sulphur (SOx) and particulate matter (PM) compared to BS III complaint vehicles.

About Bharat stage emission standards

  • BS emission standards are emission standards instituted by the Union Government to regulate output of air pollutants from internal combustion engines and spark ignition engines equipment, including motor vehicles.
  • The standards and the timeline for implementation are set by the Central Pollution Control Board under the Union Ministry of Environment & Forests and climate change (MoEFCC).
  • The standards, based on European regulations were first introduced in 2000. Since then, various stages Bharat Stage compatible fuel and ungraded and modified vehicles were introduced throughout the country.
  • Each stage specifies a certain limit on the pollutants released, Higher the Bharat Stage goes lesser it emits pollutants. BS-I, BS-II and BS-III stages were launched in  2000, 2005 and 2010 respectively
  • The harmful emissions that are identified for regulations in different Bharat Stages (BS) are carbon monoxide (CO), unburnt hydrocarbons (HC), Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) and Particulate matter (PM).

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Auto manufacturers to provide emission and noise pollution details for every vehicle

The Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has made it mandatory for all automobile manufacturers to provide emission and noise pollution details for every vehicle they produce by April 2017.

In this regard, the ministry has amended Form 22 under the Central Motor Vehicles Act, 1989 through which manufactures provide the initial certification of compliance of vehicles.

Basically, it will include pollution standards, safety standards of component quality and road-worthiness certificate for all vehicles.

With this mandatory measure, the Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways in future intends to award five star ratings to vehicles based on their emission and noise pollution standards.

What are provisions of amended Form 22?

  • Mandatory for all automobile manufacturers to provide emission and noise pollution details for every vehicle including makers of electric rickshaws and electric carts.
  • The Form will include the brand, engine number, chassis number and emission norm of the vehicle. It will apply to all vehicles including petrol, CNG, LPG, electric, diesel and hybrid.
  • Automobile manufacturers must specify the levels of each pollutant like carbon monoxide, hydro carbon, nonmethane HC, NOx, HC+NOx, PM etc. for petrol and diesel vehicles.
  • They should also specify the sound level for horn and pass-by noise values of all vehicles.

Earlier, Form 22 only certified that the vehicle in question complied with the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1989 and rules thereunder, including the relevant emission norms.

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