Non-standard emission norms a challenge for car manufacturers: Expert

Substandard, high-sulphur fuel used in India and China damaging to vehicles

The varying standards in pollution control norms in different countries pose a challenge for vehicle manufacturers globally, while consumers in countries without stringent regulations are suffering the consequences of using poor quality fuel, according to an expert.

“In European countries they are mandated to use sulphur-free fuel as per the euro norms, but in India, if you are using an imported vehicle, the sulphur in the BS-4 fuel will damage the diesel oxidation catalysts in the exhaust facility of the vehicle; so one has to change it frequently. The sub standard fuel used in countries like India and China creates problems for the customers,” said Mr. Kuruvilla Jose, Group Head, Powertrain Control, Tata Elxsi Limited.

The problem is particularly severe for imported cars, but not talked about much because these luxury vehicles are mostly used by the wealthy who can afford to periodically replace the catalytic converters, he added.

Mr. Kuruvilla was speaking about “Vehicle Electronics and Powertrain Technologies,” in Tehnopark here on Thursday as part of the technical lecture series “LETs Talk” (Learn Emerging Technologies), organised by Future Technologies Lab, in association with the Robotics Animation Society under IEEE.

Future Technologies Lab functions under the Kerala Startup Mission and is planning to hold more talks in the series on the third Thursday of each month.

Mr. Kuruvilla opined that the solution to cutting down emissions is a hybrid engine, which has two power units — electric-Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) and battery.

Predicting that hybrid vehicles will also eventually give way fully electric vehicles, Mr. Kuruvilla noted that manufactures, including Land Rover, are planning to launch EVs by 2030.

He said the major reason for more investments into the field of electric vehicles (EV) now is due to the stringent legislation and emission norms recommended by the environmental protection authorities in certain countries. “They want to implement strict norms as discussions on global warming, environment and reducing pollution take the centre stage.”

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