Motorcycle Emissions

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Eamonn Townsend

Motorcycle Emissions

Postby Eamonn Townsend » Tue Dec 12, 2000 12:00 am

European Parliament to stiffen rules on motorcycle emissions?

The Rapporteur for the proposal on new emission limits within the European Parliament (EP), Bernd Lange, brings the confusion with his report. Yet a broad consensus on the original proposal of the European Commission (EC) had previously been achieved within the Motor Vehicle Emissions Group (MVEG) between experts from member states, users and manufacturers.

FEMA is very concerned about the proposal of using the current test cycle for the second stage limits, instead of the one being designed at the International level as suggested by the EC. In addition to it, new concepts developed in the report include durability of exhaust systems & anti-pollution devices for motorcycles, on board diagnostics for bikes and in use compliance. Another amendment tries to introduce motorcycle roadworthiness testing.

Whilst FEMA is not opposed to all those concepts as such, we think that the deadlines imposed by the rapporteur are unreasonable, that there has been little consultation with users, that feasibility & cost-effectiveness of such measures have not been considered, and that some concepts are inadequate and misplaced. Furthermore it damages the well balanced proposal of the Commission.

If the Lange report was to be adopted as it is, it would increase the costs for users by having motorcycles fitted with three-way catalytic converters, air-cooled engines being banned and two-stroke engines disappearing. Motorcycle manufacturers would also have to bear strict constraints, particularly the European motorcycle industry that does not have a car industry to back them up with research and/or technical solutions.

Fortunately, thanks to the letter campaign and the lobby efforts undertaken by FEMA and its member organisations by the Members and Substitues of the EP's Committee on Environment, the Lange Report did not get much support.

FEMA has now drafted amendments on the controversial points and will submit them before the deadline of 4th January 2001.

Next step is the vote in the Committee on Environment taking place by the end of January, followed by the first reading by the end of February in the EP in Strasbourg. The Council of Ministers then comes into play, where the Member States are expected to reach a common position by the second half of 2001 and second reading in the EP should take place by the end of the year.

FEMA will be acting on this issue during the next stages of the
legislative process until the situation is solved.

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