Real-world assessment of vehicle air pollutant emissions subset by vehicle type, fuel and EURO class: new findings from the recent UK EDAR field campaigns, and implications for emissions restricted zones

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  • University of Leeds


This paper reports upon and analyses vehicle emissions measured by the Emissions Detecting and Reporting (EDAR) system, a Vehicle Emissions Remote Sensing System (VERSS) type device, used in five UK based field campaigns in 2016 and 2017. In total 94,940 measurements were made of 75,622 individual vehicles during the five campaigns. The measurements are subset into vehicle type (bus, car, HGV, minibus, motorcycle, other, plant, taxi, van, and unknown), fuel type for car (petrol and diesel), and EURO class, and particulate matter (PM), nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) are reported. In terms of recent EURO class emission trends, NO and NOx emissions decrease from EURO 5 to EURO 6 for nearly all vehicle categories. Interestingly, taxis show a marked increase in NO2 emissions from EURO 5 to EURO 6. Perhaps most concerningly is a marked increase in PM emissions from EURO 5 to EURO 6 for HGVs. Another noteworthy observation was that vans, buses and HGVs of unknown EURO class were often the dirtiest vehicles in their classes, suggesting that where counts of such vehicles are high, they will likely make a significant contribution to local emissions. Using Vehicle Specific Power (VSP) weighting we provide an indication of the magnitude of the on-site VERSS bias and also a closer estimate of the regulatory test/on-road emissions differences. Finally, a new 'EURO Updating Potential' (EUP) factor is introduced, to assess the effect of a range of air pollutant emissions restricted zones either currently in use or marked for future introduction. In particular, the effects of the London based Low Emission Zone (LEZ) and Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ), and the proposed Birmingham based Clean Air Zone (CAZ) are estimated. With the current vehicle fleet, the impacts of the ULEZ and CAZ will be far more significant than the LEZ, which was introduced in 2008.

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Original languageEnglish
Article number139416
Number of pages11
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Early online date13 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sep 2020


  • Air pollution, EDAR, EURO standards, Nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, Real-world driving, Urban areas, VERRS, Vehicular emission factors