The Indian government has given its consent for labeling new cars and has also sent fuel mileage standards for car makers with effect from 2015. The standards and labeling will be imposed under the Energy Conservation Act.
Earlier, in June 2011, CarToq had reported about the possible implementation of fuel efficiency labels on cars and the bureau of energy efficiency, finalizing rules for setting up rules for fuel efficiency labeling. Read more: All cars will sport mileage lables March 2012 onwards
Fuel efficiency labels
According to a Times of India report, in the near future, new cars will have labels that reveal their fuel efficiency under standard conditions and also in comparison to other cars in its segment.
At present, new cars sold in India come with ARAI-certified mileage figures. The ARAI testing methods however are disappointing because ARAI certified cars are run on a tread-mill like arrangement with no occupants inside, zero wind resistance and with the air-conditioner switched off.
It is not clear whether the government refers to the ARAI-certified mileage when it states ‘fuel efficiency under standard conditions’. In case the government fuel efficiency labels are same as ARAI-certified figures, there won’t be any new information about the actual fuel efficiency of cars and the gap between mileage achieved in real world driving conditions and ARAI-certified mileage figures will remain the same.
Fuel efficiency norms
The Indian government aims to set fuel efficiency standards that are at par with the European standards by 2020. By 2015, the government wants car makers to achieve an average fuel efficiency of 18.15 kmpl which at present, stands at 16.42 kmpl. And by 2020, the average fuel efficiency should be 20.79 kmpl as per the government.
It will be a challenging task for car makers to improve the fuel efficiency of their models in the next three years. Especially for large sedan and SUV makers, who will find it tough to match up to the standards set by the government.
If car makers fail to achieve the fuel efficiency standards, they will have to pay a penalty ranging between Rs. 10 lakh – Rs. 46 lakh. The government may also order the cars with fuel efficiency below standards, to be withdrawn from the market.
Car makers will have to redesign engines and implement new technologies to achieve the soon to be set fuel efficiency norms and this may force them to increase R&D activities and ultimately hike car prices. On the other hand, setting up high fuel efficiency standards will control the pollution and help reduce running costs for the car buyer.