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Jul 14, 2017 01:49 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Stricter BS-VI laws could make the ride bumpy for diesel rickshaws, micro vans

Such vehicles, which use single-cylinder diesel engines, cannot meet the emission standards under BS-VI, which are much stricter than the current BS-IV

BySwaraj Baggonkar
Stricter BS-VI laws could make the ride bumpy for diesel rickshaws, micro vans

Existing diesel engines powering rickshaws, micro vans and mini cargo vehicles may cease to exist if Bharat Stage 6 (BS-VI) laws are not changed to accommodate them.

Such vehicles, which use single-cylinder diesel engines, cannot meet the emission standards under BS-VI, which are much stricter than the current BS-IV.

A minimum of 12 models (three and four-wheelers, cargo and passenger carriers) having multiple variants between them spread across five national-level manufacturers, such as M&M, Tata Motors, Bajaj Auto, TVS Motor and Piaggio, will be impacted by this.

“In their current state, none of the single-cylinder diesel engines can meet the BS-VI norms. It is impossible to even make any changes for upgrading them,” a senior official from Mahindra & Mahindra told Moneycontrol.

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BS-VI will be implemented nationwide from April 1, 2020. Several vehicle manufacturers have already begun work on upgrading to BS-VI though there is retail availability of the fuel. The phasing out of small passenger and cargo vehicles will deliver a big blow to manufacturers as well as the end-consumers in cities and in rural areas.

While mini cargo trucks operating within city limits as the last mile distribution chain will get impacted, diesel-powered passenger three-wheelers (popularly known as rickshaws) that link remote villages to towns will also get hit.

Further, 27 models sold by regional players, from Uttarakhand, Kerala, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Delhi, who use third party sub-500 cc single–cylinder diesel engines, will get hit. The Mumbai-based engine maker, Greaves Cotton, will be impacted too.

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Most cities now have petrol or CNG-powered three-wheelers operating within their limits as per the state allotted permits. The engines, which are also single-cylinder in configuration, but powered by petrol or CNG, can be upgraded to meet BS-VI norms.

“Petrol/CNG driven-engines can be upgraded to BS-VI but not diesel. Many villagers depend on diesel-powered three-wheelers for connectivity. The frequency of state buses is not too great to such areas. If such diesel three-wheelers are discontinued, it will have a huge impact. The government will have to rethink about this,” added the Mahindra official.

Mumbai-based Mahindra & Mahindra on Thursday launched a multi-seater passenger van Jeeto Minivan applicable for commercial purposes. The vehicle is one of the several models that use a single-cylinder diesel engine.

Almost every national-level manufacturer has developed a petrol/CNG option for their diesel model and therefore, cannot be as severely impacted. While the exact volume generated by such small diesel-powered vehicles is not known, an estimated 5,000-10,000 units are sold every month.
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