While the consensus says that the future of cars is electric, there’s a more pressing change that’s about to hit the auto sector – the Bharat Stage 6 or BS-VI norms kick in less than 10 months from now. Here’s what it’ll mean for you.
Cars are going to get costlier
The new norms will require car-makers to reduce the emissions and pollutants that come out of cars, which means newer technology and a higher cost of production – unfortunately, this cost is going to get passed on to customers. How much more expensive will your new car starting on April 1, 2020? Well, it depends – early estimates suggest that diesel cars will be between Rs 50,000 – Rs 1 lakh more expensive (depending on the size of the car) and petrol cars will be Rs 20,000 – Rs 25,000 more expensive.
- Get used to a new queue at the petrol pump
This one is for the diesel lovers – in addition to filling up fuel at a petrol pump, there’s a new thing to worry about – urea. The DPF technology likely to be used by new BS-VI diesel engines needs ammonia to run, and diesel cars will come equipped with special urea tanks. Mahindra & Mahindra described it as a journey towards a “fluid economy” from a “fuel economy”, and the economy is the key word here – estimates suggest that the urea will cost 50 paise per kilometer, so that’s an extra cost element to worry about, not to mention extra waiting time at petrol pumps.
- Say goodbye to some of your favourite compact diesel cars
Because the migration to BS-VI will be costlier for diesel cars, companies will phase out diesel variants of compact cars due to the fear of customers not paying Rs 1-1.5 lakh higher for cars in the lower price segment. M&M has announced that it will not produce its 1.2l diesel engine, and Fiat’s 1.3l diesel engine will also be phased out – that means saying goodbye to diesel variants of Martui’s Swift Dzire, Baleno, Brezza as well as the M&M KUV100 and Tata Bolt and Zest.
- Fuel might be a little scarce (at first)
BS-VI will kick in from the first of April next year, and petrol pumps will make the switch to BS-VI fuel around that time too. However, car-makers have been trying to push the government to introduce the fuel from as early as January – this is because they want to sell BS-VI cars then as well, and BS-VI cars are not compatible with BS-IV fuel. The government has said that the fuel will be widely available from April, and hasn’t made a commitment to an earlier date as yet. So if you’re planning to buy a BS-VI car before April, make sure to check if BS-VI fuel is available at a pump near you!
- (Hopefully) Big discounts on older BS-IV vehicles
We saved the best for last - BS-IV cars cannot be registered after the first of April next year, and car companies will have to get rid of all their existing inventory before then – which could translate into heavy discounts in the months leading up to April. Any BS-IV car left over with showrooms post-April will need to be scrapped, which means it’s safe to assume that car makers will pull out all the stops to sell these cars out by then.
There’s still 10 months to go until BS-VI becomes a nation-wide reality, but we thought you’d appreciate an early heads-up. BS-VI will bring sweeping changes to the car landscape – some convenient and some less so, but remember, it’s all for the environment!