Starting from January 2010 all car manufacturers have been requested to voluntarily rank their vehicles on a scale of 1-5 with respect to their fuel efficiency. From 2011 the government will have a proper grading system based on the vehicle’s weight in place. It will be compulsory for all cars to have a fuel efficiency rating on their windscreens. The government is planning to have a ranking system where a car offering the best fuel efficiency figure gets a ranking of 5 while the rank lowers down for oil guzzlers. According to reports, currently not many cars are capable of a five star rank.
The fuel efficiency rating will help buyers in comparing a particular car model with others. In a country where car sales are predominantly driven by the ‘average kya hai’ mindset, this rule will be widely accepted by buyers. The rule will also help buyers in understand what will be the potential fuel costs in driving a particular car.
Since 2008 the idea of ranking cars on the basis of their fuel efficiency was being explored. Talks regarding the proposed ranking system had also reached the Prime Minister’s office in early 2009. Owing to objections from the car manufacturers and Ministry of Road transport the plan got stuck. One main disagreement was on whether cars should be ranked on the basis of fuel efficiency or CO2 emissions. It was also not clear as to under which law the proposal would be formulated and implemented.
A report submitted by a Road Transport Ministry committee submitted to the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) stated a ranking system based on CO2 emissions should not be adopted. The BEE, power ministry, and PMO also agreed that a ranking system which is buyer friendly and simple to understand should be adopted. The government departments eventually decided to end the existing debate and mutually accepted a decision to put a ranking system for cars based on their fuel efficiency in place.