The Indian government has launched a campaign to fight air pollution and has made some tough and unpopular decisions. The Bharat Stage VI emissions standards – comparable to the Euro-6 standard in Germany - will be compulsory starting in 2020. India currently applies the equivalent to the Euro-4 standard and will skip the fifth stage entirely. The quick launch is a challenge for the automotive industry. The fossil fuel industry also needs to act fast and introduce cleaner fuels. Both industries are preparing for the rule change and observers see them as well on their way.
The government’s goal of having all vehicles running on electric motors by 2030 poses a far greater challenge. SIAM, the Society of Indian Automotive Manufacturers, published a study recently where it found that all new vehicles and public transportation vehicles will be electric by 2030 but only 40 percent of all the cars and trucks sold in the country will have electric drivetrains. One hundred percent of all the vehicles in the country will have either fuel cell or electric drive trains only after the 100th birthday of the country’s independence in 2047. At the same time, automotive manufacturers are working hard to reduce emissions from gasoline-powered and diesel-powered engines. The introduction of 48-volt hybrid drives and efficiency improvements to internal combustion engines will help reduce pollution. Experts foresee a wide range of possible improvements to internal combustion engines, including improved combustion and better fuel injection. Treating exhaust has long been found to generate direct improvements in local air quality.