Stringent Vehicle Emissions Standards

The three dominant regulatory programs in the world are the U.S. (including California), the European Union (EU), and Japan. The European and US standards and test procedures or some mixture of them have been adopted by many other countries. For example, China and India have adopted the EU standards for most vehicle categories, although lagging several years behind the EU for implementation. With regard to passenger cars, about 60% of the world's fleet is following the EU regulatory road map and almost 30% follow the U.S. path. The vast majority, over 90%, of diesel cars are following the EU path. With regard to light trucks, over 60% follow the U.S. standards whereas over 70% of heavy trucks follow the EU emissions standards. No other country outside of Japan requires the Japanese standards.

It is important to emphasize two important points:

1. Standards adopted by the U.S. and the EU will determine the types of technologies and pollution controls used on most light and heavy-duty vehicles around the entire world, so it is important that their standards are sufficiently stringent to address the environmental problems for which they are designed,10 and

2. While the time gap is narrowing, many developing countries lag the U.S. and the EU by 5 or more years in implementing the standards.

Technologies are now in the market place or rapidly emerging which in combination with the clean fuels discussed above can lower road vehicle emissions of CO, HC, NOx, and PM and other toxins to a very small fraction of those from uncontrolled vehicles per kilometer driven and the major challenge now is to get these technologies adopted around the world.

The most recent light duty vehicle standards for NOx and PM emissions are summarized in Fig. 6.4.11 While the test procedures used to determine compliance differ somewhat, the control technologies used are very similar and by 2015 when the Euro 6 standards are implemented will be almost identical.

With regard to heavy-duty vehicles and engines, the U.S. and Japan are on track to phase in very stringent NOx and PM requirements before 2010. In the case of Japan, the requirements include a mandatory NO requirement as well as a so-called challenging value for NOx which is only one-third the mandatory requirement. If the challenging value is mandated, the Japanese requirements will be very similar to the US 2010 standards.

Fig. 6.4 EU and U.S. light duty gasoline and diesel vehicle standards

10 As of early 2010, No other country is following the Japanese vehicle standards roadmap.

11 The term PMx10 means that PM emissions are multiplied by ten.

Euro Emissions Standards

Fig. 6.5 U.S. versus Europe heavy duty transient cycle emissions standards

Fig. 6.5 U.S. versus Europe heavy duty transient cycle emissions standards

With regard to Euro VI heavy-duty requirements, the European Commission issued a proposal in December 2007, which it intended to be approximately equivalent to the U.S. 2010 limits (see Fig. 6.5). In December 2008, the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of the new emissions curbs with 610 votes in favor, 11 against, and 22 abstentions. (MEPs and government negotiators actually arranged the compromise deal in early November.) The new Euro VI regulation will have direct effect and will not require transposition into national law by the 27 EU states.

The agreement backs all the European commission's proposed limit values, including capping emission of nitrogen oxides at 400 mg per kilowatt-hour (mg/kWh) and particulate matter at 10 mg/kWh. All new vehicles of existing models will have to demonstrate compliance with the limits from 1 January 2014 to obtain market approval. This is 9 months earlier than proposed by the European commission. New models will have to meet the standards from January 1, 2013, 3 months earlier than the commission proposed.

In 2006, the European Union introduced Euro III standards for motorcycles (see Table 6.5) which are approximately equivalent to new car standards that applied in the EU in 2000, and these requirements have received a great deal of attention from countries around the world. Both Taiwan (2007) and China (2008) have announced their intention to adopt the EU requirements with only slight variations.

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