Continental AG is aiming to be completely carbon-neutral by 2050. One of the earliest landmarks in the plans sees Continental move to being carbon-neutral in some areas within two years. Specifically, from 2022 Continental will make its global business for emission-free cars, buses, trains and other vehicles carbon-neutral. The programme covers the company’s production processes as well as their upstream stages and recycling at the end of use. In this way, the technology company is helping the industry make emission-free mobility completely carbon-neutral.
An independent advisory committee to the UK Department of Health has found no compelling evidence that exposure to tyre and road wear particles poses a health risk at current UK concentrations. Based on a review of present scientific knowledge, the updated position statement recently published by the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants (COMEAP) extends to all non-exhaust particles from road transport, including brake wear and road surface particulates.
Europe’s car makers are mostly on track to meet more stringent 2020-21 EU carbon emission targets, helped by a subsidy-fuelled boom in electric vehicle sales, pooled carbon-dioxide emissions credits and incremental gains in conventional engine technology. European credit ratings agency Scope Ratings says that the chances of any of original equipment manufacturers incurring heavy fines for missing the EU’s carbon-dioxide target of 95g/km for 2020-21 are low, even though not all OEMs will meet the regulatory threshold for average fleet emissions.
Twenty Wrightbus hydrogen double-decker buses have been ordered by Birmingham City Council as part of its Clean Air Hydrogen Bus Pilot. The buses will be added to the National Express West Midlands fleet and will operate from April 2021. The city already has 29 battery-electric double-decker buses in circulation and this order represents the council’s latest move to drive down emissions.
The ABB FIA Formula E Championship has become the first sport to have a net zero carbon footprint since inception, investing in internationally certified projects in all race markets to offset emissions from six seasons of electric racing. Formula E’s announcement was made during the launch of Climate Week NYC 2020 and featured on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 on 23rd September. Following the recommended approach set out by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Formula E has followed three key steps to achieve a net zero carbon footprint: effective measurement of carbon output, prioritising reducing its footprint and offsetting remaining unavoidable emissions.
The Tyre Collective – winners of the James Dyson Awards 2020 – have designed a device to capture tyre particulate at source. According to the UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs’ “Air Quality: Brake, Tyre and Road Surface Wear” report, tyre-wear accounts for nearly half of road transport particulate emissions. Furthermore, a reported half a million tonnes of tyre particles are produced annually in Europe alone, from vehicles accelerating, braking and cornering. As we move towards electric vehicles in the future, exhaust emissions will reduce but tyre particles will continue. The Tyre Collective estimate that tyre emissions may even increase, as electric vehicles become heavier due to the added battery weight. For both reasons, this year’s UK national James Dyson Award winners attempt to address this issue.
Orion Engineered Carbons S.A. has completed a significant upgrade of its emissions controls at its plant in Orange, Texas. As a result of these actions, the site complies with strengthened environmental standards which reduce the site’s emission permits for NOx and SO2 by 2,300 metric tons of air pollutant emissions per year.
Cabot Corporation is planning to invest US $90 million in upgrading its Ville Platte, Louisiana carbon black factory. According to various US news sources, the project will capture waste energy to create steam from an incineration process, remove impurities and generate electricity to power site operations. Cabot is expected to create 15 new jobs in addition to the existing workforce of 90 at the site as a result of the investment.
The overwhelming majority of drivers have noticed a positive improvement in local air quality according to a survey into driver attitudes and behaviours during lockdown.
The survey, carried out by nationwide electric car charge point installer Smart Home Charge, found almost all respondents noticed less congestion and noise pollution (99.3 per cent and 88.3 per cent respectively), with 98.3 per cent agreeing that electric cars would help reduce noise pollution if they replaced petrol or diesel vehicles.
Thousands of British drivers have joined a legal claim against Mercedes over a diesel emissions scandal, which will be led by law firm PGMBM. The firm has filed a group litigation claim in the Liverpool High Court against Daimler AG, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz UK, over a diesel emissions scandal that it says could be worth up to £10 billion.
Continental AG has just launched a microsite containing information about the latest CO₂ emissions regulations for heavy goods vehicles and the VECTO (Vehicle Energy Consumption Calculation Tool) simulation tool.
Studies show the tyre/road abrasion caused by vehicles in motion contributes to microplastic and fine dust pollution, making this an issue our industry will increasingly have to consider in future. ZF Test Systems believes its new unit for testing tyre abrasion will enable tyre manufacturers to optimise their development programmes and offer cleaner tyres.
Emissions Analytics caused a stir last week when sharing news of its tyre wear pollution testing. It reported extraordinarily high levels of tyre wear pollution. The European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETRMA) has now responded with a statement that challenges Emissions Analytics’ testing procedure while keeping the door open to further dialogue on the subject of tyre and road wear particles (TRWP).
One effect of regulatory-driven decreases in vehicle emissions is that other kinds of pollution become comparatively higher. The contribution of tyres to overall transportation pollution has been scrutinised on a number of occasions, and opinions on the matter vary. Emissions Analytics now brings the issue of tyre pollution back to the table, flagging up that they’re much more polluting than car exhausts.
Klarius Products Ltd. has slammed the government’s proposal to bring forward the ban on new petrol and diesel cars to 2035, calling the decision “an unworkable fantasy” that is more about political gain than solving a problem.