5 years; to September 2004
15 COST countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
2 institutions from non-COST countries: Technion, Israel Institute of Technology; The Moscow State Automobile and Road Technical University.
The main objective of the Action is to develop an improved methodology for estimating pollutant emissions and fuel consumption from commercial road transport operated with Heavy Duty Vehicles (HDV's) in Europe. The methods should make it possible to estimate the emissions [g/km] from single vehicles as well as from vehicle fleets. The activities will be concentrated on improving the amount and quality of basic data on emissions and transport activity, as well as validating and improving existing models.
COST 346 deals with the subject of estimation of air pollutant emissions caused by HDV's. The scientific work programme will be structured to today's needs and a European database of emission related information for HDV's will be developed. Basic data for emission estimates, emission models and activity data will be included. This database can then be used to estimate the energy consumption and emissions of HDV's as functions of vehicle types, traffic conditions and road/street characteristics.
The following steps will be undertaken:
The greenhouse gas emission reduction targets agreed at Kyoto represent a first step to reduce emissions in the long term in order to stabilise the Earth's climate. The European Union has made an important contribution to the Kyoto agreement and the European Commission intends to develop a strategy to reach the Union's Kyoto target. This will require action in all sectors of the economy including the transport sector.
CO2 accounts for about 80% of the total global warming potential of all six greenhouse gases covered by the Kyoto protocol. In the European Union the share of transport CO2 emissions in total increased from 19% in 1985 to 26% in 1995. Road traffic is the most important source, and largely determines the trend in the transport sector; and road freight accounts for about 35% of transport CO2 emissions. As well as CO2, road freight transport causes considerable amounts of other pollutant emissions. With a share of approximately 75% of particulate (PM) emissions and about 60% of oxides of nitrogen (NOX) emissions, road freight transport is the most important source of these pollutants within the total transport sector.
Up to now a huge number of measurements of road vehicle emissions have been made. But less than 1% of the available data is related to HDV's. This means that, although the road freight transport is recognised as a major polluter, the knowledge about the real emission behaviour of this group of vehicles is very poor.
The estimated costs for the measurement of HDV emissions and fuel consumption are of the order of EURO 50,000 per engine. The co-ordination of the research work on a European level in order to archive the best results with the limited amount of scientific and financial resources is therefore essential for an effective development in this field.
Benefits to different users
The potential users of the output of COST 346 include all those dealing with environmental problems of transport, who may have many roles in society. In general, they will belong to one of the following groups: