Auto industry changes track, to join talks on fuel economy norms

Auto industry changes track, to join talks on fuel economy norms

New Delhi: Overcoming its initial opposition to the move, India’s automotive industry will join ongoing discussions to evolve fuel economy norms for vehicles in the country, according to an official of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam), an industry body.

Mint had reported on 15 August that the government was considering mandatory fuel economy norms for all vehicles sold in India.

However, Chenoy and executives from auto companies such as Tata Motors Ltd and Maruti Suzuki India Ltd said that apart from norms on fuel economy, the government needed to look at other factors that impact fuel consumption.

“There are safety issues in vehicles, which raises the vehicle weight which increases fuel consumption. The availability and condition of roads is another major factor, plus driving habits and fuel adulteration," Chenoy said in his presentation at the conference.

“In the past, we have agreed to voluntary standards (on fuel economy), but we want to work with a single agency. In the past, different ministries have suggested various things and it doesn’t work," he added.

A PCRA official, who did not wish to be identified, clarified that the automotive industry will have to deal only with the Bureau of Energy Efficiency.

“Clarity on the issue has emerged and like the industry asks, the policy will not focus only on fuel standards but three to four (more) aspects, including better public transport services," the official said.

Responding to the criticism that the industry did not share fuel efficiency data with consumers, Chenoy said that this information could be found in auto magazines.

“The average Indian customer does not read these magazines and these (details on fuel efficiency) are not given by the industry. They (the companies) should give data on (fuel) efficiencies of different driving cycles," said S.R. Marathe, director, Automotive Research Association of India.