Cars and other vehicles for our private or business trips need energy to function. This energy is still mostly obtained by burning fuels from oil or gas. But this trend is changing rapidly in recent years. Vehicles using other energy sources, such as electricity, are being developed in the market (hybrid engines, fuel cells, batteries). Will they be the solution?
Reducing pollution from cars
Combustion of fuels from oil or gas produces high quantities of CO2 emissions and pollutants. In most cases, production of electricity has the same effect.
New technologies have changed the automobile landscape. Vehicles are less polluting. However, there is still no miracle solution.
There are an increasing number of vehicles on the roads and these are travelling farther distances. Gains from reduction in emission of pollutants through technological improvements have unfortunately been counter-balanced by this increase in the use of vehicles.
There are several ways to reduce CO2 emissions and pollutants. The general idea is "Do not waste":
• Choose a car that suits your needs and consumes little. Less it consumes, less CO2 and pollutants it will emit.
Having a car is not only an investment at the time of acquisition: throughout its life, it consumes fuel and emits large amounts of CO2 and pollutants, with an impact on the environment, the climate and our health.
Several tools can help you choosing your car more efficiently:
• The website www.energivores.be assesses the use of your vehicle and helps you in making a responsible choice. It allows multi-criteria and customised search.
• CO2-guide, an application for CO2 emissions of new cars (derived from the site www.energivores.be), simplifies quick research.
• Financial incentives.
• Choose the fuel (or energy) that best suits your usage and your needs.
• Drive efficiently, by following a few tips you can reduce your consumption.
• Check the condition of your vehicle and follow the service schedule planned by the manufacturer.
The regulatory framework
Regulations lay down the technical requirements for new vehicles:
• Reduction in CO2 emissions
• Emission limits of pollutants
• Ban on heavy metals
• Obligation towards recycling
• Regulations for the end of life vehicles (directive 2000/53/EC) heavy metals and recycling
• Information about environmental performance of tyres (regulation 1222/2009)
• Financial incentives for vehicles with low CO2 emissions