EURO STANDARDS FOR VEHICLES
MUHAMMAD REHAN & MUHAMMAD FARHAN
Oct 1 - 7, 2012
During last few months, production of some cars had been stopped and some companies have upgraded their vehicles to the Euro II standard. Here we will discuss these standards and their benefits. In the last century the amount and concentration of green house gasses (GHG) has increased significantly and that this is attributable to human activities, such as energy use, transport and agriculture. Rising levels of greenhouse gases are already changing the climate. There is ample evidence that the average temperature in the atmosphere and in the oceans has increased over the past 100 years. The increase correlates very well with the increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Climate models predict the global temperature will rise by about 1 to 5 degrees by 2100. The global climate system has a long response time, which is why all models predict increasing temperatures even if all emissions were cut immediately.
EURO is the European Emission standards that define the acceptable limit for exhaust emissions of new vehicles sold in EU member states. The emission standards are defined in a series of European Union directives staging the progressive introduction of increasingly stringent standards. Currently, emissions of Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), Total Hydrocarbon (THC), non-methane Hydrocarbons (NMHC), Carbon monoxide (CO) and particulate matter (PM) are regulated for most vehicle types, including cars, lorries, trains, tractors and similar machinery, but excluding seagoing ships and aero planes. For each vehicle type, different standards apply. Compliance is determined by running the engine at a standardized test cycle. Non-compliant vehicles cannot be sold in the EU, but new standards do not apply to vehicles already on the roads. No use of specific technologies is mandated to meet the standards, though available technology is considered when setting the standards.
Presently within the European Union, road transport is responsible for about 20% of all CO2 emissions, with passenger cars contributing about 12%. The target fixed at Kyoto Protocol was 5.2% reduction of emissions in all sectors of the economy compared to 1990 levels by 2008-2012. Relative CO2 emissions from transport have risen rapidly in recent years, from 21% of the total in 1990 to 28% in 2004. EU transport emissions of CO2 currently account for about 3.5% of total global CO2 emissions.
There is total 6 EURO standards presently exist for the vehicles. These are applicable from different times, presently EURO-V is the latest standard in European Union member countries and EURO-VI will be applicable from 2014-15. These standards are also different for different type of vehicles like gasoline vehicles, diesel engine vehicles, passenger cars, light transport vehicles, heavy transport vehicles, lorries and busses.
From 1st July 2012, Pakistan has adopted the EURO-II standard for gasoline engine vehicles but adoption of EURO-II for Diesel engine vehicles has been postponed till 2014. The new standards are stringent than older ones and more environment friendly. To meet the requirements of new standards more sophisticated and latest technology engines are required. Along with latest engines, it is also needed to use more refined fuel that produces fewer emissions and help in meeting the standard requirements.
Our neighboring countries India and China are way ahead of us and have already adopted these standards. India has already started using EURO-III fuel for vehicles in country and EURO-IV has also adopted in 13 major cities. Similarly China is following the standard equivalent to EURO-IV. However adopting of EURO standards is also very slow in Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Some refineries have already started producing Diesel in compliant to EURO-II standard that contains 0.05% sulfur. The investment of US$ 150 to US$ 200 Million is required to install de-sulfurisation plant for diesel refining. But this is the responsibility of the government to push these refineries to start producing EURO-II compliant diesel, so that we can also adopt EURO-II standard for diesel vehicles.
It is appreciable step of government to start adoption of EURO standard for vehicles and playing a part to reduce global warming because the one ton of green house gasses emitted in Pakistan has the same impact on environment if same amount released in Australia or USA. That is why global warming is a global issue and requires a global solution.
Presently, cars in Pakistan are producing 140~170 gm of CO2 / Km (One liter of petrol produces 2.34 Kg of CO2). On 7 February 2007 the European Commission published its key draft proposal to limit average CO2 emissions from the European fleet of cars to 120 gm of CO2 / km. Some volume manufacturers of smaller cars such as Fiat, Renault and Peugeot-Citroen are already quite close to the target whilst smaller volume manufacturers of higher emissions cars such as BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Saab and Porsche are a long way from reaching this target.
As Europe's requirements for its vehicle fleets head toward a goal of 98 grams of CO2 per kilometer by 2020, the only way the automakers can get there and make money is with plug-in (Hybrid) vehicles. Many EU member states have responded to this problem by exploring the possibility of including electric vehicle related infrastructure into their existing road traffic system, with some even having begun implementation. The UK has begun its "plugged-in-places" scheme which sees funding go to several areas across the UK in order to create a network of charging points for electric vehicles. The electric plug in vehicles are definitely economical and environment friendly because the power provided to vehicle is produced from a big more efficient power plant as compared to small car engines. These Hybrid car also available in Pakistan but only few people are using it due to high capital cost.
The slogan of this year's Environment day is "Green Economy: Does it Include You?" So the green economy can only be achieved by a joint effort of public and government because our small steps can play a big role in archiving the target. Government has to take steps to adopt latest EURO standard and should target to adopt EURO-VI with the developed countries in 2014-15.
Muhammad Rehan is an MBA & LLB, working for a law company.
Muhammad Farhan is an MBA and Chemical Engineer, working for an IPP as Performance Engineer.