Choosing sustainable vehicles

August 6, 2020

When choosing an ideal car, most consumers consider price, colour, specification and optional equipment. Not many consider or will want to check the vehicle’s emission ratings.

A considerable number of individuals across the world however have become more considerate when choosing vehicles and its emissions ratings. Euro 6 standard cars or Euro Standard cars altogether are key ones to look for when choosing the right vehicle especially when considering the impacts the vehicle choice will have on the environment. Fiji Requirements In 2015, the Fijian government, as a budget policy announcement declared that all imported vehicles new or used needed to be Euro 4 standards compatible.

This was to ensure that Fiji was not dumping grounds for unsafe vehicles but more importantly it ensured that the vehicle emissions had less harmful impacts on the environment. Additionally, in 2018 the government had gazetted that fuel coming into Fiji needed to meet Euro 4 standards for unleaded and Euro 5 for diesel. This became effective in Jan 2019 and was to compliment the requirement of having Euro 4 standard cars in Fiji. This move proposed benefits such as a cleaner environment, longer engine life and reduced maintenance cost, better models of vehicles and increased efficiency and savings for consumers. So, what are European Emission Standards?

Initially, the European emission standards defined the acceptable limits for exhaust emissions of new vehicles sold in the European Union and EEA member states. The emission standards are the legal requirements governing air pollutants released into the atmosphere.

Emission standards set quantitative limits on the permissible amount of specific air pollutants that may be released from specific sources over specific timeframes. They are generally designed to achieve air quality standards and to protect human life. But while these standards were meant specifically for European countries, they have been the standards car manufacturers have followed for many if not all of their productions across the world.

Euro 6 standard cars Since knowledge increased around the oxides of nitrogen and particulate matter produced by vehicles it became clear that they were proving significantly harmful to people’s health. Because of this, the European Commission introduced the Euro emissions standards back in 1994.

The Euro 6 is the sixth incarnation of the European Union directive to reduce harmful pollutants from vehicle exhausts. It was introduced on 1st September 2015 and is the most recent Euro standard from the European Commission.

In the past, diesel vehicles were seen as a solution to helping reduce CO2 emissions, however, concerns over the health-risks associated with diesel exhaust pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide and particulates, have put them under even more scrutiny by Euro standards.

There are also many concerns about how vehicle emissions are affecting the environment. As a result, the Euro 6 standard’s main aim is to reduce harmful exhaust emissions across all vehicles. So far, the 2015 standard is having a positive effect on emission levels.

The following figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders highlight the extent to which the Euro 6 standard is helping to reduce harmful emissions:

  • Carbon monoxide (CO): petrol down 63%, diesel down 82% since 1993
  • Hydrocarbons (HC): petrol down 50% since 2001
  • Nitrogen oxide (NOx): down 84% since 2001
  • Particulate matter (PM): diesel down 96% since 1993 Even though the minimum requirement for cars in Fiji is Euro 4 standards, this is only a benchmark set by the authorities. Consumers should always opt for the highest (Euro 6) Euro standard’s possible. Benefits of Euro standard cars In addition to reducing harmful emissions, high rated Euro standard cars such as Euro 6 cars has many other benefits.
  • Firstly, the standards set encourage vehicle manufacturers to create new technology which helps significant reductions in air pollution.
  • There are also benefits to larger, congested cities, as the standard is helps to ensure cleaner air around cities. • Vehicles which meet the Euro 6 standards have improved fuel efficiency as a direct result of the development of an exhaust purification system; Selective Catalytic Reduction.
  • The new standards will also help to introduce new technology which is anticipated to see all affected vehicles experiencing longer servicing gaps.
  • Euro 6 cars are the cleanest cars in history
  • Euro 6 standards impose the toughest vehicle emissions limits yet, pushing the boundaries of emissions technologies to produce ever-lower levels of the exhaust pollutants that impact air quality.
  • Diesel particulate filters (DPFs) capture 99% of soot, and have been fitted to every new diesel car since the introduction of Euro 5.
  • NOx emissions have also been drastically reduced, with innovative emissions technologies seeing levels fall 84% since 2000.

For any consumer related issues, consumers are urged to download the Consumer Council of Fiji App from Playstore on android smart phones and lodge a complaint. By using this app to lodge complaints, consumer will be able to track their complaints as well using their reference number which will be provided whilst lodging the complaint. Alternatively, consumers can contact us via our National Consumer Helpline toll-free number on 155 or visit one of our offices in Suva, Labasa or Lautoka. Ends.