Truck emission standards in firing line from China and Europe

China brings in tough new laws across the continent as EU introduces first heavy-duty standards.

China is targetting a 90% compliance rate for diesel trucks across the nation by 2020, along with a crack-down on poor quality fuel and emissions reduction.

According to government statistics, diesel trucks contributed as much as 57.5% of N2OX emissions and more than three quarters of airborne particulates, despite comprising just 7.8% of the nation's total vehicle parc.

As the "China VI" fuel standards are rolled-out, regions in the north of the country will be a key target with many expected to have implemented the new rules by July 2019. New diesel trucks failing to comply with the new standards will not be allowed to be sold.

China's continued battle against emissions has prompted a new partnership between Saudi Aramco, Chinese diesel engine maker FAWDE, Shangdong Chambroad Petrochemicals and Tsinghua University.  The organisations are working together with the aim of developing advanced fuel and engine techologies that can meet and exceed the new standards, including mobile carbon capture solutions.

Electric truck

An all-electric solution? Image: Commons

Meanwhile, with the EU set to introduce its first ever CO2 emmissions standard for heavy-duty vehicles, industry association, ACEA, warned of the need for a balanced approach.

A clear message from the ACEA General Secretary, Erik Jonnaert, stated that the automotive industry was not fighting against the regulations, but was seeking a balanced approach to regulation.

In the statement Jonnaert pointed out the need for investment in new powertrain and alternative fuel technologies, much of which is still in development. He also stressed the need for broader investment in infrastructure, such as electric vehicle charging and refuelling stations and rapid fleet renewal by transport operators.

While welcoming incentives for manufacturers and operators for the use of more efficient, lower emission vehicles, he warned against the introduction of penalties for manufacturers not hitting sales quotas. Given the potential loss of payload and range, along with lack of infrastructure and increased costs in the early period of adoption, manufacturers may struggle to meet quotas due to lack of customer demand.

The message comes as the EU announced its car and van emissions targets to 2030 which have also proved divisive, not just between the automotive industry and environmentalists, but amongst EU nations themselves.