Parcel vans can be 17 times more polluting than the cleanest vehicles

An extra 19,000 delivery vehicles are expected to be on the road during the festive period, and with research by AIR Alliance revealing that the dirtiest of these vehicles can be 17 times more polluting than the cleanest, this is greatly contributing to the air pollution crisis. 

AIR alliance used a standardised rating system to reveal how much pollution some of the best-selling Euro 6 diesel vans produce in urban areas. 

According to the report, even if the majority of the 19,000 vans are Euro 6 diesel, not all of them have the same tailpipe emissions, therefore there was a huge difference between the real-world emissions and laboratory-based legal limits. 

For example, the 2019 Volkswagen Crafter emits 53 mg/km NOx, this is 72 mg less than the large-van laboratory-based legal limit of 125 mg/km. 

In comparison, the 2019 Mercedes Citan emits 902 mg/km of NOx, more than 8 times the light-van laboratory-based legal limit of 105 mg/km – and 17 times more polluting than the Volkswagen.  

Therefore, if the extra 19,000 vans added to the roads were all Volkswagen Crafters rather than Mercedes Titans, then 1kg of NOX would enter the atmosphere rather than 17kg. 

With the average parcel van travelling 20,000 miles further than the average passenger car, and an estimated 65,000 delivery journeys made into London by vans alone, the scale of this issue is clear. 

Massimo Fedeli, co-founder and operations director of AIR said: ‘Christmas is a time for giving and this year we urge van manufactures to give us cleaner air. 

‘The ultimate responsibility to implement change lies with them: simple service-led engine management updates can make vans much cleaner, dramatically reducing emissions immediately.

‘In the short term, we hope that those in charge of purchasing van fleets will be better equipped to know which vans are the cleanest, allowing them to choose the greenest vehicles, helping tackle the air crisis we are currently battling.’

Nick Molden, co-founder of AIR said: ‘Vans play a vital role in moving goods quickly and efficiently around our cities, over the Christmas period their mileage increases enormously, so it is crucial that only the cleanest vans are allowed to enter urban areas.’ 

In related news, parcel delivery firm DPD group will roll out an air quality monitoring initiative in 20 European cities.

Photo Credit – AIR alliance