Europe to cut emissions from motorcycles by up to 70%

The European Parliament and Council have reached agreement on reducing emissions by 65-70% from motorcycles – including three- and four-wheeled bikes - over the next four years.

According to the European Commission, the share of two and three-wheel vehicles in total road transport hydrocarbon emissions is rising rapidly, set to reach 13.7% of the total by 2010, despite being only 2-3% of total traffic volume. The Commission has welcomed the new agreement, by which emissions will be cut in two steps, in 2003 and 2006.

“We shall have cleaner air in our cities and fewer and less severe ozone problems in the summer,” said Enterprise and Information Society Commissioner Erkki Liikanen. “Over the past four years, challenging emission standards for new passenger cars, light commercial vehicles and heavy-duty vehicles have been introduced in the EU. It is therefore appropriate that similar measures have today been introduced for two and three-wheel vehicles but respecting the differences in research and development resources and technical capability between the different vehicle manufacturing sectors.”

By 2003, manufacturers are required to have reduced carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions by 60%, and two-stroke engines will have to have had a 30% cut for carbon monoxide, and 70% for hydrocarbons. The nitrogen oxides emissions will be brought in by 2006. By 2006, the limits will have been halved again.

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