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Reducing Pollution From Vehicles To Achieve Better Air Quality

12 Apr 2016

Tighter emission standard for new motorcycles to take effect from 2018 and real world pollution from diesel vehicles will be carefully studied

Singapore, 12 April 2016 – As announced at the 2016 Committee of Supply Debate, the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) together with the National Environment Agency (NEA), will roll out more stringent standards to tackle vehicle emissions to achieve a cleaner and greener vehicle fleet in Singapore. This is part of the Government’s continued effort to further improve Singapore’s ambient air quality and safeguard public health.

2          Air pollution is an important public health problem in most cities. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution is the biggest environmental health risk, causing health impact far greater than previously thought, particularly for heart diseases and stroke (refer to Annex A on the health impact of criteria air pollutants). Singapore plans to reduce domestic emissions to meet the 2020 air quality targets which are benchmarked against WHO standards (refer to Annex B for Singapore’s air quality targets for 2020).

Tighter Emission Standard for Motorcycles

3         As part of its ongoing effort to improve ambient air quality, in particular ground-level ozone levels, NEA will tighten emission standards for new motorcycles[1]. The current emission standards for new motorcycles are the Euro III emission standard for two-wheeled[2] and the Euro II emission standard for three-wheeled (Cat L5e) motorcycles, implemented on 1 October 2014.[3]   From 1 January 2018, the emission standard for all three-wheeled (Cat L5e) and large motorcycles with an engine capacity more than 200cc  will be tightened to Euro IV standard, while smaller motorcycles with an engine capacity of 200cc and below will see the Euro IV emission standards implemented from 1 January 2020.

4          Compared to the Euro III emission standard, the tighter Euro IV emission standard will help reduce emissions of hydrocarbons (HC) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), which are precursors to ozone, by an estimated 50 per cent for new motorcycles. NEA has been consulting the automotive industry since 2014 on the proposed revisions. It was finalised after a thorough assessment and the industry is being given sufficient lead time to meet the revised standards. This latest and more stringent standard will serve to further reduce the emission of air pollutants and improve our ambient air quality.

Study on Pollution from Diesel Vehicles

5          In addition to reinforcing the emission standards for new motorcycles, NEA will also embark on a study on pollution from diesel vehicles in Singapore. There are some 184,500 Singapore-registered diesel vehicles on the roads, making up approximately 20 per cent of the vehicle population in 2015. The majority of these diesel vehicles are Category C (Cat C) commercial vehicles and buses, and taxis (please refer to Annex C for more details). Diesel passenger cars formed only about 1 per cent of the total car population of about 602,000 in 2015. However, they have become the fastest growing segment the car population in the past few years.

6          Amidst the recent popularity of diesel vehicles worldwide, there are also increasing concerns about their impact on the environment and human health, particularly in the wake of the recent Volkswagen scandal. Like authorities in other countries, the study will look closely at real world performance of diesel vehicles which have been shown in tests to deviate significantly from that measured in lab tests. The results of the study will aid in the review of policies and measures to further reduce local vehicular emissions.  

[1]  Motorcycles include both 2-wheeled and 3-wheeled motorcycles. The three-wheeled motorcycles are classified under Category L3e and Category L5e depending on the distance between the wheels.

[2] This includes three-wheeled motorcycles under Cat L3e. Three-wheeled motorcycles under this category are in the same category as two-wheeled motorcycles.

[3] In 2015, the emission standards for new motorcycles were on par with the prevailing emission standards for new motorcycles in the EU. 

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Health Impact of Criteria Pollutants




Singapore Ambient Air Quality Targets


Breakdown of Diesel Vehicles in Singapore

The chart below shows the breakdown of Singapore’s motor diesel vehicle population as at 31 December 2015. (Source: LTA)