What are BS6 norms?
BS6, aka Bharat Stage 6 norms, are emission standards that car manufacturers need to meet. Till now, India had been following BS4, but a drastic change is set to take place once BS6 comes into full effect by April 2020. Yes, India will not go to BS5, but will instead go straight to the much more stricter and advanced BS6 norms. BS6 is somewhat similar to Euro 6, but is not exactly the same.
What does this mean for us?
Less emissions and cleaner cars. Cars would get cleaner and emit less pollutants: Nitric oxide or NOx and particulate matter emissions will go down drastically. The biggest gain would be for diesel cars, as they will get cleaner and emit much lesser pollutants as BS4 vehicles.
What about fuel?
BS6 norms mean nothing until they run on BS6 fuel as a BS6 car will not be compatible with BS4 fuel, unless the car-maker does some changes. Currently, BS6 fuel availability is limited to Delhi and NCR, but by April 2020 more cities will start having it. However, it will take a while longer before whole of India starts getting BS6 fuel.
So can my present BS4 car run on BS6 fuel?
Yes. A BS4 car can run on BS6 fuel however a BS6 car on BS4 fuel is a rather more complicated affair. If you run your BS4 car on BS6 fuel, expect lower emissions but also a slight drop in mileage.
Can my new BS6 car run on BS4 fuel?
As said before, car manufacturers need to make some changes for that, especially for diesel vehicles. However, a petrol BS6 car can easily run on BS4 fuel and that explains why car-makers are rolling out cars with BS6 compliant petrol engines only, as of now. Maruti, Hyundai and others have BS6 petrol offerings currently on sale.
Diesel is an another matter. But as Kia Motors has shown with their Seltos BS6, which is configured to run on BS4 diesel also. Moreover, cars with bigger diesel engines, like Mercedes and Jeep, have a BS6-ready engine along with an Adblue tank — so again, these will face no issues.
Would BS6 cars be more expensive?
Yes, they will be dearer. However, it depends on how car makers decided to pass on the extra cost to their customers. Kia has launched both diesel and petrol BS6 iterations of its Seltos and they have priced it very competitively.
BS6 cars, no doubt, would be more expensive as they have bring in extensive modifications which are expensive. Typically the price difference in petrol would not be too much (maybe around Rs 20k). But for diesel cars, the difference could be as high as Rs 70k-Rs 2 lakh, depending on the size of the car.
Would BS6 cars be more efficient?
No. Expect a slight drop in performance and efficiency. But car-makers are working around this and thus BS6 cars may actually be more efficient in some cases.
Should I wait for a BS6 car now or buy BS4?
We would say buy now as the deals are really good currently. That said, some car-makers have started rolling out BS6 cars in the market already (petrol cars only in most cases).
How would re-sale of my car be affected if I buy a BS4 car now?
The Finance Minister has said that all BS4 cars purchased before March 2020 will be allowed to run as long as possible. So, you can buy a BS4 now without any hassle.