Exhaust emission factors of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from European road vehicles
Environmental Sciences Europe
Background Road transport is an important contributor to the European Union's total greenhouse gas emissions. This study aims at summarizing methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) exhaust emissions from L-category, light-duty and heavy-duty vehicles in the European Union. The assessment is based on measurements carried out in the Vehicle Emission Laboratory of the Joint Research Centre between 2009 and 2019. The exhaust chemical composition from a fleet of 38 L-category vehicles Euro 1 to Euro 4
... es Euro 1 to Euro 4 (2- and 3-wheelers, small quadricycles such as quads and minicars), 63 light-duty vehicles from Euro 5b to Euro 6d-TEMP (passenger cars, including hybrid vehicles), and 27 light commercial and heavy-duty vehicles from pre-Euro I to Euro VI (including lorries, buses and garbage trucks) was analyzed by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy. Results CH4 emission factors monitored were from 1 to 234 mg/km for L-category vehicles (mean: 39 mg/km), from 0.1 to 40 mg/km for light-duty vehicles (mean: 7 mg/km), and from non-detectable to 320 mg/km for heavy-duty vehicles (mean: 19 mg/km). N2O emission factors monitored were from non-detectable to 5 mg/km for L-category vehicles (mean: 1 mg/km), from non-detectable to 40 mg/km for light-duty vehicles (mean: 7 mg/km), and from non-detectable to 118 mg/km for heavy-duty vehicles (mean: 19 mg/km). According to the 100-year Global Warming Potential of these greenhouse gases, these emissions corresponded to a range from negligible up to 9 g/km of CO2-equivalent for CH4 and from negligible up to 32 g/km of CO2-equivalent for N2O. Conclusions The higher contributors of CH4 were the two-stroke mopeds included in the L-category vehicles, while the higher emissions of N2O were found in the modern (Euro 5–6 or Euro V–VI) diesel light- and heavy-duty vehicles. Among them, vehicles complying with Euro 6 and Euro VI standard were associated to higher N2O emissions compared to those associated to Euro 5 and pre-Euro IV standards, which could be attributed to the introduction of the after-treatment systems designed to fulfill more stringent NOx standards. These updated emission factors and unique on its kind database represent a source of information for legislators and modelers to better assess the greenhouse gas emission reduction in the EU transport sector.