India Developing Mandatory Fuel Economy Standards
14 October 2007
Times of India. The government of India is developing mandatory fuel-efficiency standards for all classes and types of vehicles, including cars, scooters, bikes, trucks, buses and three-wheelers.
In India, the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) is the statutory authority that will implement the fuel economy standards. BEE recently appointed the Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA)—an autonomous research body under the Union ministry of petroleum and natural gas, and responsible for fuel conservation measures in different sectors—as the technical advisory body for setting these standards.
The sale of passenger cars in India has seen a growth of over 100 per cent in the last five years alone. As demonstrated by several players like Maruti and Hyundai, India is a large market for small cars. The entry of cheap cars implies a huge social cost. An increasing number of vehicles means greater consumption of petrol and increasing greenhouse gas emissions.
The Mashelkar committee’s recommendation of 2002 has failed to get auto manufacturers to adhere to voluntary fuel-efficiency standards. Once in place, the norms could help India reduce its dependence on oil imports as well as cut down pollution. The rules must cover all kinds of fossil fuel users. Fuel guzzlers like SUVs must be discouraged, and they indeed will be with the implementation of the efficiency standards.—Times of India editorial
In 2002, a committee under the chairmanship of R. A. Mashelkar, the Director General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial research (CSIR) (Mashelkar Committee) drafted a national auto fuel policy.
Domestic sales of all categories of vehicles in India increased 93% from 2001-02 to 2006-07, climbing from a total 5,225,788 to 10,109,037 units, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers. Sales of passenger cars during the same period increased 111%, rising from 507,088 to 1,076,408 units.
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