The Euro VI proposal of the European Commission specifies the new emission standards for trucks and busses. In the Netherlands, the Euro VI emission standards will lead to local improvements in air quality with respect to nitrogen dioxide (NO2), particulate matter (PM10) and the finer fraction of particulate matter (PM2.5). Compared to other measures, Euro VI is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve air quality near motorways.
Euro VI standards for heavy-duty vehicles will benefit local air quality
In recent years , the air quality in the Netherlands has improved. Nevertheless, at certain locations near motorways there are still problems with exceedences of the air quality norms for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM10). Road traffic makes a large contribution to the concentration of nitrogen dioxide at these locations. In addition, road traffic is an important source of the finer fraction of particulate matter, PM2.5. According to new insights of the World Health Organization (WHO), PM2.5 is the most health-relevant fraction of particulate matter.
The European Commission’s proposal and its effects
The Euro VI proposal means that new trucks and busses marketed in Europe beginning in 2014 will emit 67% less particulate matter and 80% less nitrogen dioxide than required by the Euro V standards. As a result, the air quality for these components will improve near motorways. Compared to other measures, Euro VI is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve local air quality. To improve national air quality, however, Euro VI is less cost-effective than other measures.
Effects on air quality and health
In 2015, the implementation of the Euro VI emission standards will lead to a reduction of approximately 30% in the number of locations where the air-quality norm for nitrogen oxide is exceeded. In addition, the new standards will contribute to compliance with the recently established PM2.5 air-quality norms, which will take effect in 2015 and 2020. The lowered emissions of PM2.5 from vehicles with heavy duty diesel engines will have a positive local effect on human health. This is because people living near motorways will be exposed to lower PM2.5 concentrations.