BEE Forms New Fuel Efficiency Standards
The nation is all set to come out with new fuel efficiency standards for cars as the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), which was tasked by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to set the standards, has finalised the norms, which will be binding for the car manufacturers starting 2017.
“The fuel efficiency of cars is expected to improve 10 per cent and 15 per cent in 2017 and 2022, respectively, compared to 2009-10 as the base year,” said a senior Power Ministry official.
The process to put fuel efficiency standards in place began in 2007, but it was delayed due to inter-ministerial conflicts and pressure from the automobile industry.
Following consultations with various ministries, industry and civil society, the BEE arrived at a consensus on fuel efficiency standards for car manufactures to come into being in two phases - by 2017 and by 2022.
“After the successful completion of inter-ministerial consultations and with industry and civil society on board, we are in the process of sending them to the Law Ministry for gazette notification,” the official said.
The new norms are based on a corporate average fuel efficiency (CAFE) system similar to the European standards. Manufactures would have to take a weighted average of fuel consumption of all the cars it sells during a year and it should be less than the (CAFE) standard for that year. “As of now these norms will be for car manufactures and later we plan to come out with star labelling for cars,” the official said.
In August 2010, the PMO had asked for fuel efficiency standards to be issued by the Ministry of Power under the Energy Conservation Act, 2001, and implemented by the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways.
“We realised that some people may not be happy with it but we don’t want a huge burden on the industry as it will be passed on to consumers and then there will be a big problem,” the official said. Civil society has expressed unhappiness over the new norms, saying they are “too little and too late”.
“India is the only car manufacturing country which does not have efficiency standards and we appeal to the government not to dilute the norms and notify them immediately as they have been pending for long,” said Anumita Roychowdhury, director, CSE, who was also part of the consultation.