Monday, 5 March 2012

Bureau of Energy Efficiency to soon finalise fuel efficiency norms for cars

After hanging fire for many years, the fuel efficiency standards for cars are being finalised and a decision is likely to be taken soon by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), under the Ministry of Power, has prepared the final draft of proposed fuel efficiency standards for passenger cars after extensive deliberations.

"The guidelines are nearing finalisation... There is a broad consensus (among various stakeholders)," BEE Director General Ajay Mathur told PTI. Another official in the know said the final draft was sent to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) recently.

"There has been inter-departmental differences... After discussions with stakeholders, there has been some kind of consensus on the proposed standards. "Following the same, the final draft was recently sent to the PMO... We expect a decision to be taken soon," the official said.

Initially, there were disagreements on which entity would award the star ratings that would indicate efficiency levels before deciding on BEE.

The Ministries of Power, Heavy Industry as well as Road Transport and Highways were also involved in preparing the guidelines. The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) were also consulted. When contacted SIAM Director General Vishnu Mathur said: "We have already given in writing our agreement to the consultation paper in February this year. We are awaiting for a notification of the same."

As per a consultation paper floated by the BEE late last year, medium and long term fuel consumption standards for new cars would provide a regulatory signal to manufacturers to "continuously reduce the average fuel consumption of cars sold by them over the next 10-year period".

SIAM members have been disclosing the fuel economy of cars voluntarily.


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