India’s Bureau of Energy Efficiency has notified automakers of the new fuel efficiency guidelines that they must follow from April 2017. Cars and utility vehicles are expected to deliver at least 18.2 kilometres (km) to a litre of fuel, a 15% increase over the existing average mileage.
To meet this requirement, a manufacturer must ensure that the average fuel efficiency of all the models manufactured by it is at least 18.2 kms per litre (kmpl). That means, an automaker can still sell cars that deliver less than 18.2 kms. But it needs to make sure that it also sells vehicles that offer higher mileage so that the average of all models meets the rule.
From April 2022, the average will be raised to 22 kmpl.
Separate standards are likely to be announced for trucks and buses.
Even as cars will get heavier – as they will have to strengthen body structure and bring in more features as the government has notified crash test standards, to be followed from October 2017 – the new policy intervention would lead to improved mileage in vehicles and bring direct benefits to consumers. The average weight of vehicles has been kept at 1,145 kilograms to determine fuel efficiency. These guidelines would be mandatory for the entire passenger car industry and cover all auto fuels, including petrol, diesel and CNG and LPG.
“These standards will apply to all vehicles whether locally manufactured or imported, stipulating the mileage on the basis of total vehicles manufactured or imported by a single company or a manufacturer,” a senior government official said.
The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) said it would be difficult for manufacturers to upgrade technology in the next two years, as it would entail huge investments.