The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP) has issued new instructions to owners of heavy duty fleets in order to improve air quality. As a result, older and more polluting heavy vehicles will be retired and replaced by more vehicles powered by electricity or natural gas. The MoEP has found that one-third of vehicle emissions are from buses and trucks, even though they make up only about 5% of the vehicles on the road.
The MoEP issued the new rules through the authority given to it from the Clean Air Act (2008). In the first stage, the rules will apply only to the 28 largest heavy vehicle fleets, which include at least 100 units that weigh more than 10 tons. These include transportation companies, companies that run shuttle buses and tour buses, municipality garbage trucks, and vehicles belonging to distribution companies.
Altogether, the new rules will affect some 12,000 vehicles, about a quarter of all heavy vehicles in Israel, and will deal mainly with reducing the amount of pollution emitted from heavy vehicles that run on diesel. The aim is to set an average emissions target for fleets, so that by 2018 it will meet Euro 4 and Euro 5 emission standards; ban the use of particularly polluting vehicles; require gradual use in alternative fuel vehicles (electric, hybrid, natural gas), so that by 2020 3% of the fleet will be powered by alternative fuels.
This initiative is also designed to promote clean fuels in Israel. Until now, there are barriers to the entry of these technologies into the local market. Many companies are prepared to use natural gas vehicles, but won’t make the move until there are enough stations. Meantime, gas companies won’t install stations until there are enough fleets running on CNG. Because the new rules require companies to own clean fuel vehicles by mid-2016, the barriers that are preventing a significant penetration of these energies will be broken.
Source: Israel’s Ministry of Environmental Protection