Two-wheeled vehicles are the lifeline of urban Asia, where they represent more than half of the vehicles that are owned in some countries. This trend is widely evident in India, where sales in the sub-category of mopeds increased by 23% in 2016-17. In fact, a survey estimates that today one out of every three Indian households owns a two-wheeled vehicle.
What explains the enduring popularity of two-wheeled vehicles? In one of the fastest growing economies in the world, two-wheeled ownership is a practical aspiration in small cities and rural areas, and a tactic to deal with asphyxiated roads in larger cities. Two-wheeled vehicles have also allowed more women to travel independently with the advent of gearless scooters and mopeds. Together, these factors have led to phenomenal growth in overall two-wheeler sales, which increased 27.5% in the last five years, according to the Indian Automobile Manufacturers' Association (SIAM). In fact, the ICE 2016 360 survey says that 37% of metro travelers use two-wheeled bicycles to get to work, and they are owned by half the homes in the larger cities of India and rural developed areas .
In the midst of this exponential growth, experts warned about the role of two wheels in the combination of the impact of pollution. Mainly ignored in measures to control vehicle pollution, experts say that two-wheeled vehicles should be included in pollution control since they contribute to most of the factors that determine vehicle pollution: engine technology, total amount of vehicles, structure and age of vehicles and quality fuel. In fact, in the main Indian cities, two thirds of the pollutant load is due to two-wheeled vehicles. They give 30% of the load of particulate matter, 10 percentage points more than the contribution of automobiles. In addition, 75% – 80% of two-wheelers on the roads of some Asian cities have two-stroke engines that are more polluting.
Bharat Stage (BS) emission standards are set by the Indian government to regulate pollutants emitted by vehicles equipped with combustion engines. In April 2017, the Indian ban on vehicles with BS III certification in favor of the highest BS IV emission standards came into force. By April 2020, India aims to make a leap towards the BS VI standards, being a signatory to the protocol of the Conference of the Parties on the fight against climate change. Beyond the goal of BS VI standards, the energy department has demonstrated a clear commitment to move to a future single electric car for 2030 with the announcement of the scheme FAME (Adoption and manufacture faster hybrid and electric vehicles in India).
Execution fights on the ground, however, remain herculean for automakers who are struggling to update engine technology in time to meet deadlines for the upcoming BS standards update. As compliance with BS VI would require changes to the engine system itself, it is seen as one of the largest R & D projects undertaken by the Indian auto industry in recent times. Regarding BS IV, the BS VI standards impose a reduction of 82% particles and nitrogen oxides (NOx) by 68%.
The emission control in fuel-based two-wheeled vehicles can be addressed on several fronts. Among the post-emission solutions, catalytic converters are highly effective. Catalytic converters transform exhaust emissions into less harmful compounds. They can be especially effective in removing hydrocarbons, nitrous oxides and carbon monoxide from the exhaust.
At engine level, engine oil additives are useful for reducing emissions. Anti-wear additives, friction modifiers, high-performance fuel additives and more lead to better performance, better combustion and longer engine life. The improvement in engine efficiency as a result correlates directly with lower emissions over time. The fuel economy of a vehicle is another factor that helps determine emissions. It can be optimized by a slight weighting, which reduces fuel consumption. Lightening a vehicle by 10 pounds can result in a reduction of 10-15 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions each year. Polymeric systems that can withstand a lot of stress have emerged as reliable replacements for metals in automotive construction.
BASF, the pioneer of the first catalytic converter for automobiles, has been at the forefront of technology development to help automakers comply with emissions standards while preserving vehicle performance and profitability. Its new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Mahindra World City, near Chennai, is equipped to develop a range of catalysts for various requirements, from high-performance and recreational bicycles to basic economy-oriented transport. BASF also takes advantage of its experience in additives to provide solutions composed of lubricants, such as antioxidants, anti-wear additives and corrosion inhibitors, among others. At the manufacturing level, BASF's R & D in engineering materials systems has led to the development of innovative materials that are much lighter than metals, but just as durable and strong. These can be used to manufacture mirror supports, intake pipes, step supports, clutch covers, etc.
With innovative solutions on all automotive production fronts, BASF has successfully collaborated with several companies to make their vehicles meet emission standards in most cases. profitable way You can read more about BASF's innovations in two-wheel emission control here, lubricant solutions here and light weighting solutions here.
This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of BASF and not by the Scroll editorial team.