‘Type Approval Norms biggest challenge to shift to cleaner fuels in India’

Suyash Gupta, Director General, Indian Auto LPG Coalition has observed that India faces an uphill task for widespread adoption of cleaner fuels, primarily on account of an archaic and hugely detrimental MoRTH Type approval norm. The norm has encouraged illegal operators to thrive and acts as a severe deterrent for credible players. Indian Auto LPG Coalition (IAC) is the nodal body for the promotion of Auto LPG in India. Members of the Coalition include the Oil Sector PSUs, Private Auto LPG marketers, Kit Suppliers and Equipment Manufacturers.

MoRTH norms in India require that the extremely cost prohibitive Type Approvals for Auto LPG and CNG conversions must be renewed every three years. This practice is in complete variance of established global norms in vogue for the last several decades.

“Companies in India have to get their type approvals renewed every three years. The total costs for a company for obtaining type approval renewal for the LPG and CNG range with model approvals is almost Rs. 4 crores each time. The punishing rules have resulted in almost all credible LPG Type approval holders not renewing their certifications. The damaging effect of this detrimental requirement has been that the number of active players in the retro-fitment market nationwide has come down to mere four-five as compared to almost over 30 plus till a few years back. Now, the last present players in the Auto LPG and CNG retro fitment Industry are also looking to move out.” said Suyash Gupta.

“Approval of an LPG retrofit system means the approval of the type of retrofit system to be installed in motor vehicles for the use of LPG. When approved, it can be placed on the market and can be sold for an unlimited amount of time, unless requirements change. This is a key principle of European law and it applies to all types of products, not only LPG components.” said Mr Samuel Maubanc, Managing Director of Liquid Gas Europe, the European LPG Association. “However, this is not the case for India. Both the LPG and CNG conversion industry have been struggling with this norm, which has no precedent either in the EU or the US. While Indian automotive regulations are in sync with the EU norms, this has been a major departure from the EU norms”

Interestingly, Auto LPG is the third most commonly used automotive fuel after Petrol and Diesel with over 27 million vehicles across 70 countries running on it.

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