CHINA: New standards governing vehicle emissions, may reduce pollutants by up to 60 per cent, the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) announced at a press conference in Beijing yesterday.
Under new standards covering light-duty vehicles under 3.5 tons, the vehicle emissions standards will be enforced to the level of Euro III from July 1 2007, and Euro IV possibly from 2010.
In comparison to the current emission standard of Euro II, the new standards (III, IV) for light-duty vehicles will reduce emissions by 30 and 60 per cent respectively.
In addition, new standards will also cover heavy-duty vehicles over 3.5 tons, motorcycles and mopeds, from July 1 this year.
The country currently has more than 20 million cars, 45 million motorcycles, and 24 million vehicles for agricultural transport .
However, numbers are rising fast, as urban residents' incomes grow and vehicles become more widely available.
Luo Yi, SEPA's deputy director general of the Department of Science, Technology and Standards, said the government will encourage automakers to meet the new standards by offering them tax breaks.
"The promulgation and im-plementation of the five new standards will serve as a necessary and effective means to solve vehicle pollution problems," Luo said.
"They are aimed at tackling the serious pollution caused by vehicles and improving environmental protection," he said.
In big cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, exhaust fumes have become the number one source of air pollution.
"The promulgation of the new standards has signalled that China will reach a higher level in pollution control of vehicles," Luo said.
"Lower-level or zero emission vehicles are the future of the auto manufacturing industry."