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Data shows more needs to be done to scrap polluting diesel vehicles

2018/01/14 18:45:49

CNA file photo

Taipei, Jan. 14 (CNA) Taiwan phased out 7,000 old, large diesel powered motor vehicles in 2017, falling short of the 10,000 units targeted, although a new measure introduced by the government last year increases the fuel cost surcharge to finance a program that encourages more people to scrap such vehicles.

Mobile sources accounted for 30-37 percent of the total emission of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) last year, with large diesel vehicles, defined as those weighing more than 3,500 kilograms, being the largest mobile source, contributing 11.2-16.8 percent of PM2.5 pollution, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In a bid to improve air quality, the EPA last year rolled out a set of regulations and financial subsidies to encourage people to scrap large diesel-run vehicles manufactured before June 30, 1999.

Under the regulations, owners of large diesel vehicles older than the above-mentioned date can apply for subsidies ranging from NT$30,000-NT$400,000 (US$1,013-US$13,502) to scrap their vehicles based on weight.

It also announced, in September last year, a hike in the surcharge on diesel and gasoline, with the money collected to be used to promote the phase-out of old, large diesel vehicles.

However, the EPA achieved only 70 percent of its stated goal of phasing out 10,000 vehicles nationwide last year, with New Taipei and Kaohsiung cities and the offshore island counties of Penghu and Kinmen the only ones to reach their respective goals.

Taitung, Chiayi and Pingtung counties achieved 23.6 percent, 30.56 percent and 31.02 percent of their respective goals.

Of the six special municipalities, Tainan ranked bottom with 51.3 percent of its target, while Taichung came next at 69.60 percent, Taoyuan 74.21 percent and Taipei 93.49 percent. New Taipei and Kaohsiung exceeded their targets with 111.51 percent and 129.51 percent, respectively.

The EPA has set a goal of phasing out 25,000 old, large vehicles this year.

Scraping a large, old diesel vehicle could help reduce PM2.5 emissions by an estimated 67kg, according to the EPA.

(By Wu Hsin-yun and Evelyn Kao)