Reducing emissions and improving air quality is a key objective of both local and central governments. Eminox illustrates the steps you should be taking to work towards this goal.
Compliance is not only good for the environment, but is crucial for operators on a business level, particularly if they are to operate in the extended London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), which will cover all roads within the North and South Circulars from October 2020. This mandates that vehicles must meet Euro VI standards for emissions of particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxide (NOx).
The importance of the diesel particulate filter
At the heart of Euro VI compliance is the diesel particulate filter (DPF). These trap carcinogenic particles by forcing exhaust gases through microscopic pores within a wall-flow filter. Larger soot particles cannot pass through, and remain within the DPF, rather than entering the atmosphere.
This means that DPFs need to be regularly cleaned. Normally, the vehicle’s electronic control unit (ECU) works with pressure sensors to determine when the DPF is filling, and then regenerates the filter by burning off the soot to effectively empty it. However, it needs to be checked, regenerated manually, or cleaned off-vehicle at every service to ensure that it operates correctly and that there is no danger of failure.
All Euro VI after-treatment systems containing a DPF have an access cover. Once this cover is removed, the DPF can be pulled out for servicing.
If the DPF blocks, internal damage may occur – this will often cause the vehicle to go into ‘limp-mode’, or becomes immobilised to prevent further damage. Both of these consequences are costly and extend the time your vehicles spend off the road.
Until recently, the only way to replace a DPF was with an expensive OEM part. This has now changed with the launch of a wide range of type-approved replacement DPFs from Eminox, suitable for manufacturers including Volvo, DAF, Renault, Scania, and MAN, covering over a third of the Euro VI vehicles on the UK’s roads.
Designed and manufactured in the UK, these DPFs are certified to comply with ISO and TS standards. This means they meet the strict tolerances of the OEM products they replace. They are also BER compliant, so fitting them won’t invalidate manufacturer warranties.
The cost of non-compliance
The London ULEZ is in constant operation, and any non-compliant commercial vehicle will have to pay a £100 daily charge. This means that operators looking to enter either the current or extended zone have a choice.
They must either:
- Pay the charge, adding to your costs
- Manage their fleet so that only Euro VIcompliant vehicles enter the zone
- Swallow the cost of buying new, compliant vehicles
- Retrofit vehicles to ensure compliance with solutions from an accredited supplier
For fleet managers, when it comes to the final option – retrofitting – it is vital to pick the right partner. Look at the company’s credentials – does it have the experience to help you cost-effectively achieve compliance? Does it meet accreditation standards? Does it provide a high-quality product that will actually enhance the value of your vehicle when you come to sell it?
Eminox were the first company to receive Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS) approval for its SCRT solutions for buses, coaches, and specialist trucks. It delivers peace of mind, and Eminox provides a Retrofit Service to fit its solutions to guarantee complete reassurance.
Outside of London, it is important to stress that the ULEZ is just one of a growing number of Clean Air Zones (CAZ) planned or already in operation in cities across the UK, as local governments look to reduce pollution and its harmful effects. For example, Birmingham City Council recently announced plans to penalise high-polluting HGVs and buses driving into its city centre. So, now is the time to implement a strategy to ensure current and future Euro VI compliance.