Currently reading: Volvo: 'Think beyond CO2'
Swedish firm wants motorists to consider "the complete emissions picture"

Volvo Car UK has launched an 'Emissions Equality' campaign which aims to encourage UK car buyers to think "about a car’s complete emissions picture, rather than just CO2 in isolation".

The Swedish firm is proposing the adoption of a labelling scheme for new and used cars that details an engine's emissions of nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons and particulates as well as CO2. Unlike CO2, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons and particulates are locally harmful to human health.

This information is already held on government databases for all cars sold in the UK since 2001. Volvo is also launching an application for phones and computers which intends to give drivers access to this "total emissions information".

The labelling scheme would mimic the one used in the US, which gives a 1-10 score for both a car’s "Greenhouse Gas" and "Air pollution" emissions.

Volvo claims that there are dramatic differences in the output of 'non-CO2' pollutants from cars sold in UK. It says that the a 2.5-litre petrol-engined Volvo V70 generates some 201mg/km of 'non-CO2' pollutants, compared with the 484mg/km emitted by a 1.4-litre Fiat 500 equipped with a start-stop system.

Volvo's campaign comes in the wake of threats by the EU to levy fines of up to £300m on the UK because of the country's poor air quality.

According to Professor Frank Kelly of Kings College, London there are 4300 premature deaths in London every year, and 50,000 across the UK, as a result of air pollution, 70 per cent of which comes from road transport.

Professor Kelly says that the lungs of children in inner city areas are particularly vulnerable to roadside particulate pollution, which is generated almost entirely by diesel traffic.

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Liam F 16 July 2010

Re: Volvo: 'Think beyond CO2'

brompton wrote:
As a long term urban cyclist now experiencing breathing difficulties

Great! Now even the cyclists are spewing CO2 all over the place....

overboost 15 July 2010

Re: Volvo: 'Think beyond CO2'

I wonder if Sweden prices its cars based on overall emissions rather than just C02. Is C02 based taxes on cars the same over Europe? New Euro5/6 emission laws will bring alot more Diesel cars into question. The Germans are complaining that to meet these levels, diesels in small cars will be uneconomic due to the new exhaust and car engine tech needed. New Truck emission laws are cutting non-C02 emissions and truck owners know alot about fuel prices since they use one fuel mostly. One idea would be to offer a scrappage scheme for older trucks and commercial/public transport road vehicles. The recent scrappage schemes over europe (and the USA) did alot for getting rid of very dirty engines. More needs to be done to get a 5-year switchover from every commercial and home vehicle pre 2001 off the roads. Any ideas on how to fund these incentives?

brompton 15 July 2010

Re: Volvo: 'Think beyond CO2'

As an long term urban cyclist now experiencing breathing difficulties I welcome more attention being paid to health harming emissions so bring on Euro 6, 7 etc. Lorries and commercial are worst but a brand new diesel Ford Galaxy acclerating out of the local dealers leaves a disgusting cloud of soot. The CO2 economy drive to diesel cars has been damaging.