The impacts of Euro 5: facts and figures
The Euro 5 proposal from the European Commission contains new emission requirements for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. This means that new diesel vehicles in these categories will be required to have particulate filters beginning in 2010. This is a cost-effective measure for reducing particulate matter emissions. The current proposals do not require a NOx catalyser for these diesel vehicles. However, the air quality in many European cities would benefit from such a measure.
The air quality in Europe is improving. Nevertheless, the limit values for air quality indicators such as nitrogen dioxide are still exceeded in many European cities. Local road traffic is largely responsible for the exceedances of the limit value for nitrogen dioxide. Road traffic is also an important source of emissions of particulate matter with a diameter smaller than 2.5 µm. This is the health-relevant fraction of particulate matter. The Euro 1 through Euro 4 emission requirements for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles have shown themselves to be effective instruments to improve the air quality in Europe.
The Commission’s proposal and its effects
Compared to the Euro 4 requirements, the Euro 5 proposal means that new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles coming onto the European market around 2009 would have lower emissions of particulate matter (a reduction of 80%) and nitrogen oxides (a reduction of 20%). Due to the gradual replacement of existing vehicles by new ones, the Euro 5 measures would achieve their maximum effect around 2020. The effect in the Netherlandswould be a 50% reduction of particulate matter emissions caused by road traffic, and in Europeas a whole this would amount to a reduction of 40%. The emission of nitrogen oxides by road traffic would decline in the Netherlands by 7% in 2020 and in Europe as a whole by 16%.
Options for improvement
Due to the Euro 5 measures, the air quality in European cities will continue to improve. However, not all bottlenecks in air quality with respect to nitrogen dioxide will be eliminated. To achieve this, the emission requirements for nitrogen oxides will have to be 40%- 85% more stringent than the Euro 4 requirements. The new European Air Quality Directive stipulates that the limit values for nitrogen dioxide cannot be exceeded after 2015. To meet this air quality requirement, rapid implementation of more stringent Euro emission requirements for nitrogen oxides is necessary.
|Author(s)||Wesselink LG ; Buijsman E ; Annema JA|