Indian automakers resume efforts to delay tightening of fuel efficiency standards

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The country’s automakers are stepping up efforts to delay more stringent fuel efficiency standards, asking for more time to meet the target of reducing carbon emissions, Reuters sources quoted. The surge comes as companies continue to overcome the financial impact caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Company of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), which is leading the campaign, is expected to meet with Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday to request a one-year delay to comply with the rules which are due to go into effect from April of. next year, Reuters reported.

At the meeting, the two sides are expected to discuss how the auto industry plans to adopt clean technology in the future, as well as the demand for delay in meeting strict fuel standards.

(Also read | Analysis: When are electric vehicles getting cleaner than gasoline-powered cars?)

Under the first phase of the Business Average Energy Efficiency (CAFE) Rules introduced by India in 2017, automakers are required to reduce the average carbon emissions of new cars to 130 grams per km, up to the end of March next year. They should do this using solutions such as the launch of electric vehicles and the use of alternative automotive fuels like ethanol. However, due to the financial impact of the pandemic, automakers say it would be difficult for them to make new investments to comply with the stricter rules.

(Read also | The European Union is preparing to end the era of combustion engines within two decades)

Earlier in March, SIAM called for a two-year deadline to meet the targets, but a senior government official said that while an extension was unlikely, concessions could be granted if manufacturers showed serious intent to invest in clean technologies.

The second phase of CAFE rules is expected to start from April 1, 2022, when automakers will need to further reduce carbon emissions to 113 grams per km. The even stricter rules aim to bring India’s fuel regulations in line with global standards such as that in Europe.

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