2020 brings a lot of new things. A new decade and new power train options to name a couple. BS6 will be mandatory from April 2020 and more electric car options will make this an interesting year for the automobile industry.

The two most confusing thing we as consumers might have to deal with would be a choice between a BS6 compliant engine or an Electrically operated car. We will discuss how both of them work and how they will challenge each other in the Indian car market and should you choose bs6 or electric car.  Let’s start with BS6.

What is BS6 (Bharat Stage 6)?

BS6 or Bharat Stage 6 is an emission norm set by the government which makes it so the companies have to make an engine in a way specified by the government which will meet certain norms allowing for cleaner emission. The fuel this engine will use is a bit different than what you’ll normally use in a BS4 engine. Let’s get into the working of a BS6 engine.

bs6
Tata harrier bs6 engine

Read More: Tata Nexon BS6 Variant Spotted

What are the inner machinations of BS6?

The engineering behind a BS6 is partly in the engine, and mostly in the accessories that come with it and the fuel it uses. With the help of parts like SCR (Selective Catalyst Reduction), OBD (on-Board Diagnostics) and RDE(Real Driving Emissions) the polluting factor of IC engines will be reduced tenfolds. 

What is SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction)?

SCR uses the basic rule of chemistry, anything which is a complex structure can be broken down into simple molecules till we get what we desire. This is the working rule of Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR). Using chemistry, it breaks harmful pollutants into harmless molecules. How harmless you ask? It makes NOx into Water. 

How SCR works?

As to how SCR converts NOx into water will need a bit of reaction studying and it’s not complicated. We will walk you through it if it’s been too long since you read reactions and need a bit of a refresher. Before that, we need to know the construction of SCR.  

SCR
The Flow in SCR

What are the components inside an SCR?

SCR has a chamber where the reaction occurs and the catalyst is present. Catalysts are chemicals that help in moving a reaction in the direction you want it to go. They also come out unharmed out of the reaction which gives them a longer life.

This chamber has the catalyst that SCR requires which is selected on the needs and the level at which the vehicle will usually operate. Cheaper ones include vanadium and tungsten which have lower temperature withstanding ability. The ideal catalyst for cars is Zeolite Catalyst which can function at fairly high temperatures and are also not as costly as other alternatives. 

The catalyst is in the walls of the chamber. The reaction happens in the chamber and that is how an SCR is constructed. Now onwards to the working.

The working reaction inside of a Selective Catalyst Reduction chamber

4NO + 4NH3 + O2  → 4N2 + 6H2O

NO is the thing we don’t need. It is highly toxic to both humans and the environment. This reaction occurs in the chamber. NH3 is ammonia which is added by the SCR along with oxygen molecule. This breaks it into nitrogen molecule and water and both of those are non-polluting. 

Overall workings with a BS6 engine

As the petrol variant is not that different from BS4 let’s consider the case of diesel BS6.  With the new fuel, and SCR working in tandem a 70% less emission is the result, it is well worth every penny extra compared to BS4.

But how would you know if it’s working ideally or not, because in real-life conditions the catalyst will start to wear out and lose its efficiency? That’s why we have On-Board Diagnostics.

Popular Read: BS6 Compliant Toyota Yaris Launch Soon

What is OBD (On-board diagnostics)?

An automotive term, in basic words it’s just a tool that helps technicians to gather data needed to check the correct working of the car. So how does it help with emission? 

How does OBD work?

It monitors the emission levels leaving the exhaust which helps the ECU give out an error on your infotainment system if it is not in the ideal spot where it should be functioning. The other option is when a technician connects to it through an output which is inside the hood and is only accessible to computers that they use, it informs them how the car exhaust system is working and where the error might lie.

Handheld OBD scanner
Handheld OBD scanner

Why do you need of an On-Board Diagnostic?

As a consumer, it helps as a bad emission output could mean the engine is in jeopardy because there is some problem with the exhaust system. This helps both the person ensuring they can ride the car for longer and the environment by releasing less toxic pollutants.

Overall working with BS6

OBD informs when the exhaust system is starting to fail or has already stopped working in the way we need it to. This ensures that we don’t drive with a faulty exhaust system for long as it can result in major damage to the engine.

Now that these two topics are covered, we need to look into how the companies know the amount of emission the car generate during real-life driving conditions. Coincidentally, the topic we are left within BS6 is Real Driving Emissions (RDE).

Another Similar Read: BS6 Cars Might Get Expensive In 2020!

What does Real Driving Emissions do?

Real Drive Emissions tests a car for pollutants such as Nox. It helps car manufacturers know if the car they made is up to the norms set by the respective country’s government or not.

Flowchart explaning how RDE works
A flowchart explaining how RDE works

Working of a Real Driving Emission test

It involves using a kit called Portable Emission Measuring System (PEMS). A PEMS is attached to the exhaust system of a car then it is driven on the road under conditions it will go through normally, not in a lab or a proving ground where these conditions are too good to be true for everyday use. The PEMS is then attached to a computer where it analyses the data and gives the appropriate result.

Overall working with BS6

On the consumer end, it does nothing, but before the launch of a car, it ensures they’ll meet the emission norms and function appropriately.

With all those changes to fuel and new parts involved, how does it fare against the older emission norm?

What is the difference between BS6 and BS4?

As covered earlier the petrol emission is not that different but the difference between BS6 and BS4 diesel is heaven and hell apart. It begins with fuel. Adblue is used in BS6 which contains 10ppm sulphur instead of 50 ppm in BS4 which when paired with SCR, RDE and OBD reduce the overall emission of NOx to 30% of what BS4 used to work with.

BS6 compliant engines seem to be really good for the environment as they reduce pollution by a marginal factor but an electric car offers more option and releases 0 emissions.

Electric cars | What’s all the fuss about?

Electric cars are a godsend. With the government signalling that they want more EV and trends showing that people are starting to prefer them too, they will see more light of day in 2020 with more companies switching to electric alternatives for their flagships and bestsellers, EV will only rise from this year forward.  So, how does it work and why should you consider it over BS6.

ev
Sony’s Ev concept

How does an electric car works?

With a battery powering an induction motor and an inverter managing different frequency of AC current it’s not tough to understand its working. Let’s take a look at the individual part of an EV and how they work together to power the future of the automobile industry. 

What are the components of an electric car?

Compared to an IC engine, electric cars have a lot less amount of moving parts. Fewer parts mean less weight and less weight means better efficiency. 

An EV’s drivetrain consists of an induction motor, a generator, a battery pack. 

Read More: The Renault Zoe is the New EV in Town!

How does an Induction motor start?

An induction motor works using a simple law. Faraday’s law. It states that the movement of the magnetic field creates a current in a direction perpendicular to the magnetic flow. Where do the magnetic fields come from though?

Induction Motor
Induction Motor

They come from a 3 phase AC current supplied to the motor coils. When this current reaches the coil and starts alternating they generate a rotating magnetic field, which in turn generate induced current which rotates the output shaft thus generating torque for the car. It’s as simple as that. 

Some advantages about an induction motor are that the speed of rotation depends upon the intensity of current supplied which allows us to easily manipulate the speed of the car. It also has no brushes which ensure low friction and long motor life.

Where does the current come from? The Battery pack of course! 

Battery pack, The powerhouse of the car!

The battery pack is something of a wonder, a small that no one thought to do until someone did. It uses AA batteries, yes AA the one you use in your wall clock or your kid’s toys, those ones. One of the companies that do this is Tesla. As its more interesting let’s talk about it. It uses AA batteries that they made themselves in a series and parallel combination to get a really high output. As they need cooling, it is provided in the form of Glycol coolant. The battery pack is arranged in such a way that it allows for even heat distribution and cooling. 

A Tesla battery pack
A Tesla battery pack

This battery pack generates DC power which doesn’t allow Faraday’s law to work. So what happens now? The inverter joins the fray!

Inverter; the brain of an electric car

The inverter has two jobs, convert DC into AC and control the output provided thus controlling induction motor output effectively making it the brain (or heart whichever you prefer) of an EV.

An EV invertor
An EV invertor

Did someone say more features?

With some technologies, the EV gets even better. Things like faster response time to control traction so your tires don’t slip and regenerative braking system, EV tries to ensure you have a smooth and safe ride. Let’s see how Regenerative braking system and helps EV be more efficient. 

Consider Reading This: Why Scrap Your Old Car? Convert it to Electric, Here’s How!

Regenerative braking system | Simple yet Effective 

Law of conservation of energy states that when you cannot destroy energy and it only changes forms. when you move you get kinetic energy and when you stop that energy gets expended into some form of other energy. In the case of cars its heat and a bit of sound. In EV though it is in the form of electricity getting back into your battery. How does that happen?

Flowchart for regenerative braking system
Flowchart for a regenerative braking system

When you brake, the induction motor becomes a generator. This happens because the speed of the rotor is more than the speed of the magnetic field thus making it rotate in the opposite direction. This generates a current in the opposite direction which is then transferred to the battery pack effectively charging it.

I know what you are thinking, this guy is completely biased towards EV and in the choice between bs6 or an electric car he wants us to choose EV. Let me show you why I obsess over EV and want you to consider buying it.

BS6 or Electric car | An EV motor
BS6 or Electric car | An EV motor

How is an Electric Car better than an Internal Combustion Engine?

The biggest thing Ev has over IC engines is that there is no emission. It literally generates 0 carbon and other pollutants that Ic generates.

The second point is power generation. IC engine generates a translatory motion i.e linear motion. This needs to be converted into rotation motion. As a rule of thumb, the more parts involved the more losses will occur. This is not the case with an EV motor. The output is rotatory, to begin with, and thus needs no extra parts to change the motion direction. 

And the third point is IC engines are limited in the range of power. They cant generate a wide variety of power ranges. Induction motor doesn’t need to worry about that. It can generate energy in a wide spectrum without any limitations.

EV can’t be all that good right? There must be some downsides. 

BS6 or Electric car | A V6 engine
BS6 or Electric car | A V6 engine

Why is an Internal Combustion Engine better than an Electric Car?

IC is more convenient. The refuelling time is minimal and fuel pumps are readily available.

IC is also cheaper compared to EV with the same technologies as it is cheaper to make an engine than an EV motor system.

IC has more alternative with thousands of cars to choose from while EV is still in the making and just starting to get more variants.

Should I buy a BS6 car or an electric car in 2020?

If its convenience, cheaper options and more alternatives you want then BS6, with readily available fuel stations and less dear compared to EV, it’s a good choice right now. It might change in the future when EV takes the centre stage and cheaper technologies are introduced. Although I am sure that even if EV become the majority BS6 still won’t be affected but if you want to prepare for the future, you should consider getting an EV, its more smooth, more efficient, smarter and environment-friendly. 

As to what I would recommend, EV all the way! EVolution is coming make sure you are a part of it!

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3 COMMENTS

    • MG ZS EV offers more features than Nexon EV and is also a bit costlier. MG ZS EV stands out for its features but Nexon EV is not a bad choice at all.

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