FAQ: Everything You Need to Know About the BS III Ban in India

On 1 April, the sale of all the Bharat Stage III vehicles – including two-, three- and four- wheelers – will come to an abrupt halt in India. For the automobile sector, the move is comparable to the scrapping of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes that jolted the country in November last year.

The BS III ban has resulted in auto companies doling out a slew of discounts on bikes of up to Rs 3.5 lakh, with even brands like Ducati and Bajaj in the mix.

Also Read: Just for Today: Heavy Discounts on Ducati, Harley and Hero bikes

But what does the ‘demonetisation’ of BS III mean? How will the implementation of BS IV affect consumers? What should they be worried about? We put everything down for you here.

What Is BS III?

Bharat Stage (or BS) refers to the emission standards set by Central Pollution Control Board under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. These standards are put in place by the central government to keep a check on vehicles’ polluting levels.

The BS norms are similar to Euro global standards, but the former is a level below the Euros. These are usually seen inscribed on cars, and are used by automakers to inform consumers of the emission status of their vehicles.

The BS III emission norm has been the standard for vehicles in India since October 2010.

Registration of BS III vehicles prohibited from 1 April in India. (Photo: AP)

What Does BS IV Offer?

Starting 1 April, the regulatory body has made the logical upgrade to BS IV – the level similar to Euro 6 for the rest of the world.

Petrol/Diesel engine on the Mahindra KUV 100. (Photo: The Quint)

The BS IV initial order was laid out last year when the Supreme Court had ordered all auto manufacturers to plan their models with BS IV technology. In effect, the order directed them to stop sale of BS III vehicles from 1 April 2017.

Brands like Hero MotoCorp and Tata Motors were hoping for a reprieve, but that never came. All in all, switch from BS III to BS IV is seen as a big win for environmentalists and the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that has been after this case for a while now.

What Does BS IV Mean for Buyers?

Switching to BS IV will be a costly affair for auto companies – and for the industry as a whole.

Buyers of cars and bikes in India will bear the cost of the switch. (Photo: BloombergQuint)

Spare-part makers will have to make the changes to the BS IV-centric equipment, considering the changes that auto companies will make to their engine systems to upgrade from BS III to BS IV.

Auto companies claim that vehicles worth over Rs 15,000 crore have been hit by this emission switch. And upgrading engine, fuel to comply with BS IV will only add to manufacturers’ costs.