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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Car emission becomes major cause of air pollution

By Wu Weizheng (People's Daily)

14:15, December 21, 2011

Edited and translated by People's Daily Online

China has been leading the world in vehicle production and sales for two consecutive years and motor vehicle emissions have become a major contributor to the country's air pollution problems, according to the "China Motor Vehicle Emissions Control Annual Report 2011" recently released by the Ministry of Environmental Protection. The report includes information about vehicle emissions in China during the 11th Five-Year Plan period (2006-2010).

Coal combustion and motor vehicle emissions become primary sources of urban air pollution

Tao Detian, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Environmental Protection, said that during the 11th Five-Year Plan period, the number of motor vehicles in China rose from 118 million units to 190 million units, representing an annual growth rate of 10 percent.

Meanwhile, the number of cars nationwide surged 150 percent from over 30.8 million units to over 77.2 million units.

At present, vehicles that meet or exceed China's Grade III National Emissions Standards make up over 41 percent of the total number of the country's vehicles. The percentage for vehicles that meet the Grade II National Emissions Standards and Grade I National Emissions Standards is nearly 26 percent and 21 percent respectively.

The remaining 13 percent fail to meet even the Grade I emissions standards. In addition, nearly 80 percent of vehicles in China have a green label which represents low emissions, and over 20 percent have a yellow label which represents high emissions.

The rapid increase of motor vehicles in service has increasingly highlighted the importance and urgency of automotive pollution control. Pollution monitoring shows that China's urban air quality has started to show the characteristics of combined soot and vehicle exhaust pollution.

Dust haze, acid rain, photochemical smog and other regional air pollution problems frequently occur in some areas, and these problems are closely related to vehicle emissions. Meanwhile, as motor vehicles mostly run in densely populated regions, exhaust emissions are affecting people's health directly.

In 2010, China's automobiles emitted a total of more than 52 million tons of pollutants, including nitrogen oxide (NOx), hydrocarbon (HC), carbon monoxide (CO) and particulate matter (PM), in which NOx and PM emitted accounted for more than 85 percent, and HC and CO exceeded 70 percent.

In fuel, the NOx emission from all diesel vehicles in the country reaches nearly 60 percent of total vehicle emissions, and the PM emission accounts for more than 90 percent; while gasoline vehicles have higher CO and HC emissions, accounting for more than 70 percent of total vehicle emissions.

In emission standards, vehicles that comply with National I Standard, which account for 12.8 percent of total vehicles in use, emit more than 40 percent of total vehicle pollutants; while the vehicles that comply with National III Standard or above, which account for 41.1 percent of total vehicles in service, discharge less than 15 percent of total vehicle emissions.

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