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Government announces plans to tackle poor air quality

  • Posted On: 4 January 2016
  • Number of views: 2925

Mercury Fuel Systems is pleased to relay the news from the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership that the Government has announced plans to improve air quality in cities by introducing Clean Air Zones in Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Derby and Southampton by 2020. These Zones will not affect private car owners, but will see the most polluting vehicles, like old buses, taxis, coaches and lorries, discouraged from entering the zone through charges.

The Clean Air Zones are to be targeted at areas of each city where the air quality problem is most serious. They aim to reduce the pollution in city centres and encourage the replacement of old, polluting vehicles with modern, cleaner models. The Government says that similar zones in Germany and Denmark have been shown to lead to an improvement in air quality.

Mercury Fuel Systems Ltd manufacture the Quicksilver AFI Dual Fuel System for Trucks. In simple terms the Quicksilver-AFI system replaces up to 30-50% of the expensive and carbon-intensive primary fuel (diesel) with a less expensive and lower carbon-content secondary fuel, usually LPG or Natural Gas (CNG or LNG). This dual-fuel technology will deliver significant economic and environmental benefits to the Vehicle Operator including an 8-15% reduction in Fuel costs depending upon route criteria. A 6-60% reduction in CO2 depending on the route criteria and up to 34% reduction in NOx on an urban cycle.

Mercury Fuel Systems also welcome the work proposed on accreditation schemes for retrofitted vehicles and alternatively fuelled vehicles that is already underway, including the LowCVP initiative to develop an accreditation scheme for low carbon HGV technologies (matched funded by OLEV). The scheme aims to independently validate the fuel consumption savings offered by low carbon retrofit devices under a range of operating conditions and provide reassurance to commercial operators that they will see a return on their investment in the technology. It also assesses the pollutant emissions and can be applied to clean vehicle technology systems, as well as providing comprehensive emissions measurements over real world cycles.

In order to build on these two schemes, the Department for Transport has commissioned the LowCVP to develop a new Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme. This will ensure that there is a robust system in place providing independent evidence that any future vehicle retrofit technology schemes will deliver significant NOx emission reductions and air quality benefits whilst simultaneously assessing the carbon performance.

The Accreditation Scheme will cover a wide range of vehicles - buses, taxis, coaches, trucks, mini buses and vans, and will facilitate the development of an approved list of suppliers and technologies. It is expected to be in place by early summer 2016.

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