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Feb 22, 2023

BS6 is the New Standard. Know the Difference Between BS4 and BS6 Emission Norms

Every year, we see global temperatures rising due to continuous pollution. Vehicular pollution is one of the biggest factors behind this [1]. The Indian government has been taking various steps to tackle this problem. One of the concerns in this direction has been to limit the emission that is generated via the bikes that people ride on a daily basis. You may have heard the terms BS4 and BS6 being used repeatedly when it comes to bikes and the pollution they can cause. It is important that you understand the differences between the two terms and if it impacts the price of your bike insurance. More information for the same has been given below.

What are emission norms?

Before we get to the differentiation part, let us first understand what the emission norms are. Emission norms are regulations set by the government to limit the amount of pollutants that vehicles can emit into the environment. In India, the Bharat Stage (BS) emission norms are used to regulate the emissions of vehicles. In 2017, BS4 norms were introduced by the government across India. BS4 was replaced by BS6 emission norms in 2020.

Types of emission norms

Here are the two major emission norms that you may find in India:

1. BS4 Emission Norms

BS4 emission norms were introduced in 2010 in a few states before being enforced across India in 2017. It was introduced to set limits for the amount of pollutants that vehicles can emit into the environment. These norms applied to all vehicles, including cars, buses, trucks, and two-wheelers. The main pollutant controlled by BS4 norms is nitrogen oxide (NOx). BS4 norms used the Euro IV emission standards, which set limits for NOx at 80mg for petrol vehicles such as bikes. These norms also set limits for other pollutants such as hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO), and particulate matter (PM).

2. BS6 Emission Norms

BS6 emission norms were introduced to replace BS4 norms in April 2020. These norms are more stringent and have even lower limits for pollutants emitted by vehicles. The main pollutants controlled by BS6 norms will be PM and NOx, just like BS4 norms. BS6 norms uses the Euro VI emission standards, which set limits for PM at 4.5mg/km and for NOx at 60mg for petrol vehicles. These limits are significantly lower than the limits set by BS4 norms. BS6 norms have also set limits for other pollutants such as HC and CO, but these limits are almost similar to the limits set by BS4 norms.

Differences between BS4 and BS6 Emission Norms

As you can see, the main difference between BS4 and BS6 emission norms is the level of pollutants that vehicles are allowed to emit into the environment. BS6 norms have been made more stringent to reduce the amount of pollutants being emitted from bikes. Therefore, the limits are lower for pollutants, particularly PM and NOx, than BS4 norms. Other points of difference include:
  1. The emission standards used by the norms are different, too. BS4 norms used the Euro IV emission standards, while BS6 norms use the Euro VI emission standards. Euro VI standards are more stringent than Euro IV standards and set lower limits for pollutants.
  2. The engine and the exhaust system have also been modified in BS6 norms. BS6 engines have been designed to produce lesser noise pollution. The material used to make the engine is also different compared to the one used in BS4 engines. Unlike the use of carburettor, which was routine in BS4 engines, BS6 engines have electronic fuel injection systems to prioritise fuel efficiency. Additionally, the selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system has also been introduced in the exhaust to reduce the emission levels of nitrogen oxides (NOx). This may have a significant impact on motor insurance prices*.
  3. The fuel that you use also impacts the emission levels. BS6 vehicles are required to use BS6 fuel only as BS4 fuel has higher levels of emissions. Using BS4 fuel in a BS6 vehicle may not help in achieving the intended target of reduced emissions.

Impact of BS6 norms

The introduction of BS6 norms had a significant impact on the automotive industry in India. Manufacturers have invested in the new technology to meet the more stringent emission limits set by BS6 norms. This has led to an increase in the cost of vehicles and insurance policies. You can use the two-wheeler insurance premium calculator to see the difference between the cost of BS4 and BS6 two-wheeler insurance. With time, BS6 norms may have a positive impact on the environment as vehicles will emit fewer pollutants into the air. This will lead to improved air quality, which will have a positive impact on public health. But more importantly, this might benefit the environment in the long run.


Overall, the BS4 and BS6 emission norms are aimed at reducing the pollution caused by vehicles, improving the overall air quality, and helping in the recovery of our environment. If you have a bike with either of the engines, it is vital to do the timely renewal of your two-wheeler insurance  to enjoy its safety and additional features.   *Standard T&C apply Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation. For more details on benefits, exclusions, limitations, terms, and conditions, please read the sales brochure/policy wording carefully before concluding a sale.  

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