A step towards a co-ordinated emission legislation

A new proposal from the European Commission and Parliament is published:

First thing that strikes me is that we now speak about milligrams. For Euro V, to be introduced 2009, grams is still the most convenient unit.

For NOx a further reduction of 80% is proposed (400 mg per kWh) and for particulate matter a reduction by another 66% is proposed (10 mg per kWh).

The last couple of years we learned more about the impact of NOx and particulates on cardio vascular diseases. In areas of dense traffic HD emissions make substantial contributions to those emissions. Still I feel ambivalent about this proposal.

The very low levels of hazardous emissions have a prise, economically and in green house gases. Economically; could we use the efforts more efficiently, e.g. on limiting CO2 emissions from coal fired power stations for electricity generation? For green house gases; we know that the trade-off of NOx will cost a lot of fuel consumption. Is it good for the environment and cost efficient to apply the same NOx and PM standards in the centre of London as in the forests of Sweden?

I would also like to question if we treat different means of transports equally. We already know that buses have lower emissions of NOx, PM and green house gases per person km than other means of transports.

I suggest that for personal transports a technology neutral approach is used and “emissions per person km” is the right measure to compare.

But, it is undoubtedly positive that we now seem to take a step toward a world harmonised test cycle and towards a similar emission legislation in Europe and the US.

About volvobuses

Adjunct Professor of Catalysis at Chalmers University of Technology. Lives in Gothenburg, Sweden, with my wife and three daughters born in 1991, 1994 and 1997. Is a passionate runner.
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