The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has notified BS-VI emission norms for quadricycles. The move is likely to encourage the production of quadricycles, a segment introduced less than two years ago.
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"The Ministry has issued a notification regarding the emission norms for L7, quadricycle category for BS-VI. These norms are applicable from the date of notification. This notification completes the process of BS-VI for all vehicle categories in India", said the notification.
Automobile manufacturers will now be able to produce petrol, diesel, CNG and biofuel quadricycles for the Indian market.
"While the Ministry had notified BS-VI standards for all vehicle categories long ago, the same had been pending for quadricycles. We wouldn't have been able to produce this category of vehicles until these norms were introduced", said an industry source.
The central government had introduced the quadricycle segment in 2018 and approved it for both commercial and private use.
The Ministry of Road Transport describes quadricycle as a vehicle the size of a three-wheeler but with four tyres and fully covered like a car. "It has an engine like that of a three-wheeler. This makes it a cheap and safe mode of transport for last-mile connectivity," according to the ministry.
The rules stipulate that a quadricycle cannot be more than 3.6 metres long, should have an engine smaller than 800cc, and should not weigh more than 475 kilograms.
India's automobile industry had been requesting the Ministry of Road Transport to set BS-VI emission standards for quadricycles as well.
Currently, very few players in the Indian automobile industry make quadricycles. Bajaj Auto was the first major automobile manufacturer to commercially launch a vehicle in this category. The Qute was launched in India in April, 2019 in both CNG and petrol variants. The company produced 6095 quadricycles in FY20, out of which 942 were sold domestically and 5185 were exported.
Mahindra and Mahindra showcased the Atom, an electric quadricycle at the auto expo. The vehicle is likely to be launched later this year.
However, industry experts say that vehicle makers looking to launch quadricycles will have to evaluate options very carefully in the current market environment.
First Published: IST