Government seeks industry feedback on Euro VI

By: Brad Gardner

Industry support for adopting new Euro VI standards is being sought, with the Federal Government saying a failure to follow Europe’s lead risks turning Australia into a “dumping ground” for old technology.

Government seeks industry feedback on Euro VI
The new Euro standards are unlikely to be enough to offset the heavy vehicle sector’s contribution to air pollution levels.

The Department of Infrastructure and Transport has released a discussion paper laying out the costs and benefits of moving from Euro V standards for trucks to Euro VI from January 1, 2016.

The paper says adopting the new standards, which will begin in Europe on December 31 this year, will reduce the amount of nitrous oxide emissions new trucks can emit by up to 80 percent and by up to 66 percent for particulates compared to Euro V.

It says adopting Euro VI will allow Australia to take advantage of cleaner engine technologies.

"Not adopting these standards, when other countries have implemented such standards, would be inconsistent with Australia's commitment to harmonise vehicle standards with international standards and may also limit the ability of local truck and bus distributors and component suppliers to access more advanced technologies," the paper says.

"It may also increase the risk of Australia becoming a 'dumping ground' for older technology."

The paper wants feedback from the trucking industry on whether it supports adopting Euro VI standards and, if so, what the timeframe for introducing them should be.

It also wants the industry to provide its thoughts on allowing equivalent standards in place in the United States and Japan to be accepted as alternatives.

The Department of Infrastructure and Transport, which is giving the industry until January 31, 2013 to respond, says introducing new standards is likely to increase the cost of new trucks in the short term. However, it says operators should be able to pass the costs on to their customers.

It goes on to say servicing and maintenance costs will rise if Euro VI standards are adopted, but prices should decrease over time as the technology becomes more common.

The Federal Government proposes implementing the new standards on January 1, 2016 for new vehicles and on January 1, 2017 for existing models.
"The timeframe would allow manufacturers sufficient time to comply with the new standards without significant disruption to their product plans," the discussion paper says.

"Such a commencement date would be three years after the start date in Europe and six years after the start date for ADR 80/03 [Euro V]."

The paper says heavy vehicles account for 31 percent of nitrous oxide emissions and 47 percent of particulate emissions despite only making up about 4 percent of all motor vehicles in Australia.

However, new Euro standards are unlikely to be enough to offset the heavy vehicle sector's contribution to air pollution levels.

"Despite improvements achieved through current vehicle standards, air pollutants from heavy vehicles are expected to continue to cause concern due to growth in vehicle kilometres as a result of increased demand for transport," the government department says.

"Over the longer term, it is anticipated that emission levels will start to rise, as increases in annual vehicle activity will start to offset the reductions achieved by current vehicle standards when the emission control measures required to meet these standards are incorporated into the entire fleet."

It says heavy vehicle kilometres will grow at a faster rate than the kilometres of light vehicles between 2010 and 2030 (57 percent to 44 percent), despite light vehicles accounting for most of vehicle activity.

"Within the heavy vehicle fleet, articulated trucks (2.49% per annum) are expected to experience the greatest level of growth in activity, despite expected improvements in energy intensity (0.8% per annum for trucks)," the paper says.

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