Figures released this week show that the move to ensuring new buses and coaches conform to the Euro VI emission standard is gathering pace.
But, while the new standard is gradually coming into force, nearly half of 9,025 new buses and coaches sold in 2015 only met the Euro V standard.
According to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), 53.5% or 4,828 of all new buses and coaches registered in 2015 met the latest Euro-VI emissions standard.
Some in the transport sector consider that the pace of introduction of the Euro VI standard into the UK has been slow with delays in introducing it into national legislation which meant Euro 5 continuing into 2015. It is only from January 2016 that new vehicles sold into the marketplace have to comply with the Euro VI standard and it does not apply until next January for all buses sold, meaning that Euro V buses still in the sales pool are still available for purchase this year.
Euro VI standard requires emissions to contain 75% lower levels of NOx, with the PM reduction considerably lower, at around 95% of Euro 5. A study for Transport for London has said that emissions from Euro VI buses and coaches will be lower than those from Euro V cars.
Commenting on the gradual introduction of the new standard and the increased sale of Euro VI buses and coaches, the SMMT said: “The boost in demand comes as the regulatory period of grace which has allowed operators to specify older technologies for their fleets is due to end. As a result, this modern clean vehicle technology is now being widely adopted across the UK.”
A statement from the SMMT continued: “Operators in Glasgow and Birmingham renewed the largest proportion of their fleets with Euro-VI vehicles, with more than four out of every five new buses and coaches registered in these cities meeting the standard. Meanwhile, in London, which has the biggest fleet in the country, just over half of new vehicles featured Euro-VI technology.”
According to SMMT Motorparc data, there are 88,638 buses and coaches making 5.2 billion passenger journeys across 18.1 billion miles each year.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, “Industry has invested billions of pounds in advanced vehicle technology that delivers real results so it is encouraging to see this rapid uptake of Euro-VI in the UK. The UK automotive sector remains committed to working alongside operators, government and local councils to encourage widespread adoption of the latest vehicles that will help dramatically improve the air quality in our towns and cities.”
The SMMT explained that Euro-VI vehicles have the potential to deliver significant improvements to air quality, with advanced technology that captures 99% of soot particulates and drastically reduces emissions of Nitrogen Oxides (NOx).