China Eyes Tighter Emissions Caps


Chinas central government is considering a draft emissions standard that would set stricter caps on pollutants released by motorcycles, mopeds and motorized three-wheelers.

The proposed standard, National IV, would significantly lower limits on carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and other substances. Under National IV, maximum emissions of carbon monoxide, total hydrocarbons and nitrous oxides would be 1,140 milligrams per kilometer, 380 mg/km and 90 mg/km, respectively, for motorcycles; and 1,000 mg/km, 630 mg/km and 170 mg/km for mopeds. Under National III, the limits for both classes of vehicles are 2,000 mg/km for CO, 800 mg/km for total hydrocarbons and 150 mg/km for NOx.

China had 104 million motorcycles and mopeds by the end of 2012, according to the nations Ministry of Environmental Protection, which drafted the proposed standard.

Emissions from motorcycles have been falling in recent years partly because the number of motorcycles is strictly controlled in big Chinese cities. According to calculations by the ministry, from 2009 to 2012 CO emissions from motorcycles dropped to 5.9 million tons from 8.9 million tons; total hydrocarbon emissions sunk to 754,000 tons from 1.1 million tons; and NOx emissions rose to 105,000 tons from 81,000 tons.

Chinas 12th five-year plan on environmental protection calls for the National IV standard to be imposed nationally in 2015.

Some lubricant suppliers are already positioning products pitched as aiding compliance with the new limits. Shell Tongyi, for example, is heavily promoting its new synthetic lube for three-wheel motorcycles in provinces that have the most motorcycle owners, including Shanxi, Sichuan, Shandong and Anhui.

There are very few high-end lubes for motorcycles, and we hope our lube will meet demand in this sector, the company stated in a recent news release.

The National IV draft is based on European Union regulation 168/2013, which was issued in January 2013 for motorcycle emissions. The Ministry of Environmental Protection is now accepting public comments on it.

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