New GTR for measuring emissions from heavy duty vehicles
Publication date: 20 November 2006
Truck and bus manufacturers will be able to develop just one family of engines for all major world markets, due to a new Global Technical Regulation (GTR), which was agreed at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN/ECE) in Geneva. The regulation will enter into force within eight months and set harmonised standards for the exhaust emissions of lorries and buses. It creates a level playing field for manufacturers of heavy duty vehicles on a worldwide scale, given that all major industrialised countries (such as the China, Japan and the USA) have acceded to this GTR. Up to now, test cycles and methods of emissions measurement have varied significantly around the world. Last week the UN/ECE also adopted a second GTR on electronic On-Board Diagnostic systems for heavy duty vehicles. The European Commission got a clear mandate from other EU-institutions to negotiate the agreement in Geneva.
Commission Vice-President, Günter Verheugen, responsible for enterprise and industry, said: “Replacing European by UN standards is another practical example of Better Regulation. Industry can rely on one single text valid throughout the world. The new GTR will reduce the costs of testing heavy duty vehicles and will thus improve the competitiveness of the European industry.”
The new test procedures reflect, as closely as possible, the operation of on-road heavy-duty engines around the world. They provide a marked improvement in the stringency of the test procedures for measuring the emission performance of existing and future heavy-duty engines.
The GTR is based on research into the worldwide pattern of heavy duty vehicle use. From the collected data, two representative test cycles, a transient test cycle with both cold and hot start requirements and a hot start steady state test cycle, have been created covering typical driving conditions in the European Union (EU) and other major markets in the world. The regulation also includes improved exhaust emissions measurement technology with the potential for accurately measuring the pollutants from future low emission engines.
In summary, the test procedure has been developed so that it will:
- be representative of on-road vehicle operation across the world,
- able to provide the highest possible level of efficiency in controlling on-road emissions,
- correspond to state of the art emission testing, sampling and measurement technology,
- apply to existing and foreseeable future exhaust emissions abatement technologies, and
- be capable of providing a reliable ranking of exhaust emission levels from different engine types.
Heavy commercial vehicles and their engines are increasingly produced for the world market. It is not economically efficient for manufacturers to prepare substantially different models to meet different emission regulations and methods of measuring emissions, which, in principle, have the same objective. The procedures in this regulation will allow manufacturers to develop new models quicker and more effectively. There will be savings not only for the manufacturer, but more importantly, for the consumer. In addition, the new requirements on the test procedures will provide a higher level of environmental protection.
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