That’s the finding of research by Dearman, in which it showed that equipping a Euro 6 17-tonne rigid truck with a zero-emission refrigeration system would cut the vehicle’s overall engine emissions of NOx by 73%.
The company says that the proposed clean air zones in five UK cities, due to come into effect in 2020, will not deliver the required cut in air pollution unless all forms of engines are addressed.
The cities plan to charge the most polluting trucks, buses and cars for entering the zones. This is in response to the Supreme Court ruling last April, which ordered the government to come up with an air pollution reduction plan after its failure to meet existing limits of NOx gases.
However, says Dearman, the auxiliary diesel engines typically used to power refrigeration systems should also be included as they can emit six times the NOx and 29 times the PM of a Euro 6 truck engine.
And, it adds incentivising the introduction of zero-emission alternatives to these could have a significant positive impact on air quality and on the success of clean air zones.
Michael Ayres, deputy CEO of Dearman, says: “There is a real opportunity to significantly reduce NOx emissions by addressing diesel engines that are all too often overlooked. If clean air zones are to make as big an impact as possible and really improve local air quality and health, the proposed restrictions should take into account emissions from all engines on a vehicle.
“It’s difficult to justify penalising domestic car users, while these disproportionately polluting, unregulated auxiliary engines are allowed to use subsidised diesel in operation – particularly when there are low- and zero-emission alternatives on the market, that require neither subsidy nor for operators to change the way they do business.”