Scania has called for the Pollution Control Department to increase the emission standard for heavy-duty vehicles in Thailand from the current Euro 3 standard to Euro 6 as a means to fight with the ongoing air pollution in Bangkok.
In its press release, it said an increase to Euro 6 would effectively decrease the emission of PM and NOx by 90%.
“A higher emission standard requirement and the resulting reduction of air pollution would not only give the citizens of Bangkok cleaner air to breathe and improved health to enjoy, it would also improve the impression of the city in the minds of the 20 million tourists visiting every year.”
It would also show that Thailand is serious about its quest to be recognized as the automotive hub of Asia.
Other Asian countries have already recognized the urgency to improve the air quality and are increasing their emission standards rapidly.
According to the statement, India for example plans to introduce its local version of Euro 6 (BS 6) next year and so is China (China 6a).
South Korea and Singapore have already implemented Euro 6 and this has already been the standard for new vehicles in Europe since 2013.
“Now Thailand has an opportunity to take part in this proactive movement and set a short and clear timeline for the introduction of Euro 6 emission standard in the Thai transport sector.”
Of course, there is a cost to a technology shift like this. The vehicles are more expensive and the refineries need upgrading to lower the sulfur content of diesel below 10 ppm.
However, with less air pollution the private and societal health care cost can be expected to decrease.
The Nation reported that according to a study from Kasetsart University on pollution-related health costs in 2017, every microgram of PM10 beyond the safe limit cost the people of Bangkok up to Bt18.42 billion in medical expenses.
In addition to that, the worth of increasing the lifespan of the people is invaluable. The Thai government could use subsidies, scrap-page scheme, tax and other financial control means to support the shift and see this as an investment in the people’s future health. Furthermore, improved export opportunities and innovation reputation for Thailand, are also positive effects that can be expected.
“At Scania we have set our strategy to lead the shift to a sustainable transport system and we are hoping to collaborate with the Thai government and relevant industry players to drive this shift together in Thailand and thereby improve the quality of life for the citizens of this beautiful country.”