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Real Driving Emission Norms

In India, one of the most significant health issues is air pollution. Vehicle emissions are an essential contributor to the phenomena, even if there are many other aspects. The government implemented the Bharat Stage 6 or BS6 Norms in 2020 to address this issue. The government intends to start Phase II of BS6 standards, which calls for implementing Real Driving Emission (RDE) Norms, from April 2023 to reduce vehicle emissions further. In this post, we will explain Real Driving Emission Norms in detail so that you can understand the future of the automotive industry.

Bharat Stage Emission Norms: What Are They?

It is essential to comprehend the Bharat Stage Emission regulations to understand RDE regulations properly. Bharat Stage Emission Norms are criteria that automakers adhere to control and regulate vehicle emissions; the Government of India governs them. Bharat Stage Norms aim to enhance the environment by regulating automotive emissions, focusing on the emission of particular gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons, and nitrogen oxides.

The Bharat Stage Norms were launched in 2000 and are continuously updated to make automobiles greener and more environmentally friendly. They are based on the Euro Emissions Standard. Under the Ministry of Environment & Forests and Climate Change, the Central Pollution Control Board develops the schedule for implementing certain BS Norms.

Recognising Stage VI Of Bharat

The most recent version of the Bharat Stage Norms, Bharat Stage VI, adopted across India on April 1st, 2020, is on par with the Euro 6 requirements. The permitted pollutants that petrol and diesel engines can release are more strictly regulated under BS6 norms than they were under BS4.

PETROLNitrogen Oxide (NOx), Particulate Matter (PM)80mg60mg
Nitrogen Oxide (NOx)250mg<80mg
DIESELParticulate Matter (PM), HC + NOx25mg/km, 300mg/km<4.5mg/km, 170mg/km

The BS6 Norms also call for the following modifications:

  • To track pollution levels in BS6 vehicles, install a diesel particulate filter and a selective catalytic reduction system. However, the BS4 rules did not have it.
  • required Onboard Diagnostic (OBD) integration that can show motorcycle owners and mechanics how effective certain vehicle systems are.
  • Real Driving Emission (RDE) Norms are now in place to measure a vehicle’s real-world and real-time emissions in addition to merely its testing emissions.

Real Driving Emissions (RDE) Norms: What Are They?

Phase II of the BS6 requirements will be implemented on April 1, 2023, driven by the Real Driving Emission (RDE) requirements. It is crucial to comprehend how emission testing is conducted in the current environment to understand RDE requirements fully. 

Vehicle emission measurements and testing are mostly tested and established in the laboratory using situations that imitate the actual world without any outside influence to comply with the Bharat Stage Norms. As a result, emission numbers provided by automakers frequently deviate significantly from existing conditions. As a result, the government has been forced to create a testing procedure that can quantify emissions while driving rather than in a lab.

Purpose of Real Driving Emissions (RDE) Norms

The goal of real driving emission norms is to address this issue. RDE Norms will require automakers to test and monitor pollutants released from their vehicles in a real-world driving environment starting on April 1, 2023. Car and motorcycle  companies in India must give vehicles a Portable Emissions Measurement System (PEMS). Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems must be installed in all diesel-powered cars as part of the impending RDE regulations. The Selective Catalytic Reduction systems will significantly reduce emissions of substances like nitrogen oxides (NOx) by turning pollutants into water, nitrogen, and trace amounts of carbon dioxide using Diesel Exhaust Fluid (AdBlue).

Before implementing Phase II of the BS6 requirements, the Lean NOx Trap (LNT) system allowed automakers to abide by the current BS6 regulations. This made it possible for diesel engines with smaller displacements—typically under 2.0 liters—to reduce pollutant levels and meet the requirements for current emission standards. However, with Phase II rapidly approaching, automakers must adopt more complex and pricey SCR systems. It is important to remember that during the first stage of the BS6 transition, larger diesel engines, such as those with displacements more significant than 2.0 liters, were already updated to the SCR system.

How Will Vehicles Adhere To RDE Norms?

Cars will now need to carry an onboard self-diagnostic device (OBD Device) to analyze and monitor emission levels in real-time. RDE Norms are adopted to detect pollutants emitted by their cars in a real-world driving situation.

The OBD device will monitor emissions levels continuously by processing signals from essential parts, such as oxygen sensors and catalytic converters. The driver will see a warning that the bike or car needs to be serviced right away if the emissions of the vehicle ever go over the targeted limits of the BS6 Norms. Additionally, fuel injectors configured to control the timing and amount of fuel pumped into a vehicle are now necessary. A more advanced catalytic converter will also be used to reach the specified characteristics.

What Effects Will RDE Norms Have On You?

The upcoming RDE Norms will primarily affect consumers through price increases, with automakers bearing the burden. The overall production cost will rise due to the increased expenses that RDE Norms mandate automakers take to fully BS6 compliant their powertrains, some of which will be passed on to customers through price increases.

The conversion expense may also be prohibitive for some smaller engines and cars, leading to their premature retirement, because an update to the SCR system necessitates multiple highly valued changes on the part of automakers. According to rumors, as many as 17 cars could be phased out starting in April 2023. Unfortunately, this list includes diesel versions of well-known vehicles such as the Honda City 5th Generation, the i20, the Verna, the Altroz, etc. There is a possibility that cars like the Innova Crysta, Nissan Kicks, Skoda Superb, and Octavia won’t be offered for purchase until April 2023.

RDE Norms: Final Statement

Phase II of the BS6 Norms is scheduled to begin in April 2023, posing a challenge for automakers to either update existing models to meet the new standard or discontinue some of their most popular ones. While RDE standards may seem overly onerous for automakers, they appear necessary given the country’s current predicament regarding rising emissions and environmental harm.

The new standards will bring cleaner engines that burn gasoline more effectively in driving situations. However, from a consumer’s perspective, buying a bike or a car will undoubtedly become more expensive as automakers are anticipated to pass on the burden of growing production costs through several price increases.

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