Benefits of Going Green
Road transport affects the environment greatly and having a green or greener car means you will literally save lives, perhaps, even your own.
Emissions from vehicles contribute to the ever growing build up of gases which lead to climate change; the key greenhouse gases related to road transport are: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O).
Road transport is the third most significant source of UK greenhouse gases, accounting for over 20% of total emissions. Over 85% of total greenhouse gas emissions are due to transport, CO2 emissions caused by road vehicles. The transport sector is the most rapidly growing source of greenhouse gases.
Road transport is the main cause of many local emissions including 1,3-butadiene, benzene, nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), and particulates (PMs). In urban areas, like London, transport emissions account for 80% of total emissions.
There is an increasing body of evidence which links vehicle pollutants to human illnesses, such as, cardio-pulmonary, respitory disease and lung cancer. It is estimated that in the UK 24,000 people die prematurely every year due to air pollution.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that just under 3,000 deaths of children (aged 0-4 years) per year in the UK is due to outdoor pollution. The WHO estimates that should pollution levels return to within EU limits, all these lives would be saved each year.
This European standard for vehicle emissions has meant the acceleration of greener vehicle technologies. For petrol cars, this has been undertaken by using a three-way catalytic converter and the transition to usage of fuel injection systems. For diesel cars, NOx and particulate emissions have been lowered by the diesel particulate filters (DPFs) and the development of direct injection engines. Such technological advances, alongside cleaner fuels, has led to considerable reduction in regulated pollutants. In fact so much so that a car made today produces 24 times fewer emissions than one manufactured in the 1970s. Car manufacturers know that cars will have to conform to even tighter regulations as tighter standards (Euro V) are going to be applicable in 2012.