Hong Kong will finally catch up with Europe’s 2017 emissions standards for motorbikes and 2013 standards for light buses, as LegCo approves a law amendment to ban registration of new non-compliant vehicles.
From 1 October 2020, only bikes reaching Euro 4 or above will be licensed, while Light Buses will require Euro VI On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) Phase C after 1 March 2021.
The government tightened most new vehicle standards in March 2017 but bikes and light buses (between 3.5 and 9 tonnes) were exempted as, according to government, there were no viable bike or minibus models readily available in Hong Kong at the time.
Parallel-import motorbike suppliers objected to the latest tightening, requesting at least a few more years, but the government rejected their request. “We consider their request not justifiable because Europe, Japan and Taiwan have already implemented Euro 4 or equivalent emissions standards for motorcycles and their brands are most popular in Hong Kong,” says the Environmental Protection Department (EPD). There are over 140 Euro 4 motorcycle models approved for sale by the government.
Euro 4 petrol motorcycles emit about half the total hydrocarbons (including smog-forming volatile organic compounds, or VOCs) and about 60 per cent less nitrogen oxides (NOx) from tailpipes compared with Euro 3 counterparts.
Compared with their Euro V counterparts, Euro VI heavy duty diesel vehicles emit about 80 per cent less NOx and half the respirable suspended particulates.