Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
Proposals announced on control of emissions from petrol and LPG vehicles

     To further improve roadside air quality, the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) today (November 15) announced proposals to strengthen control of vehicles using petrol and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) which emit exhaust gases excessively, and to provide a one-off subsidy scheme for owners of LPG taxis and light buses to replace the catalytic converters in their vehicles.  The EPD also launched a consultation to seek views of stakeholders on the proposals.

     "With the implementation of a host of measures to improve air quality, the concentrations of sulphur dioxide and respirable suspended particulates recorded at street level have dropped significantly in the past 10 years. However, the roadside concentrations of nitrogen dioxide have risen over the same period. Our efforts should focus on tackling the source of the target pollutants," said an EPD spokesman.

     "Poorly maintained petrol and LPG vehicles emit excessive colourless exhaust gases, including nitrogen oxides, which are a significant cause of high roadside air pollution index (API) readings, hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide. These gases are invisible but can be detected and measured by remote sensing equipment," the spokesman said.

     The proposals seek to identify petrol and LPG vehicles that emit excessively through the employment of roadside remote sensing equipment, and require their owners to rectify the problem and ensure their vehicles pass an emissions test. The proposed scheme is similar to the existing Smoky Vehicle Control Programme, which  targets diesel vehicles.

     Remote sensing equipment is a mature technology and has been adopted by some places, such as the United States and Taiwan, to identify petrol and LPG vehicles with excessive emissions.

     According to the proposals, mobile roadside remote sensing equipment will be deployed at roadside locations in Hong Kong by 2013 to identify petrol and LPG vehicles that emit excessively. Owners will then be required to repair these vehicles and put them through a dynamometer emissions test at a designated vehicle emissions testing centre. Failure to pass the emissions test within a prescribed period will lead to cancellation of the vehicle's license.

     The major reason that petrol and LPG vehicles emit excessively is their old catalytic converters, which have not been replaced as needed. An old catalytic converter can cause emissions to exceed normal levels by ten or more times. Defective catalytic converters can also cause problems like increased fuel consumption, accelerated wearing of mechanical parts and unstable vehicle operation.

     To help owners of LPG taxis and light buses adapt to the proposed emissions control regime, the Government has earmarked $150 million to provide a one-off subsidy to replace vehicles' catalytic converters before commencement of the new control scheme, which will improve the green performance of their vehicles.

     "In busy urban corridors, taxi and light bus emissions account for 39 per cent of nitrogen oxides and 55 per cent of hydrocarbons. Both pollutants are major causes of roadside API reaching very high levels. Because of their high mileage, about 80 per cent of taxis and about 45 per cent of light buses emit excessively and require repair, for example, by replacing their catalytic converter," he added.

     Beginning today, the EPD is seeking the views of stakeholders, including relevant trades and the Legislative Council, until January 15, 2012. Details of the proposals are available on the EPD website (

     In his 2011-2012 Policy Address, the Chief Executive announced that the next focus for improving air quality is to reduce roadside air pollution and put forward a package of measures. One of the initiatives is to introduce remote sensing equipment and advanced emission tests to control excessive emissions from poorly maintained petrol and LPG vehicles.

Ends/Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Issued at HKT 16:01


Print this page