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Policies to Retire Old Motorcycles Improve Air Quality by 30%

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Aiming to address air pollution from mobile sources, relevant authorities are taking measures to increase usage of public transportation, retire old vehicles, and promote adoption of electric vehicles. Facing the public's urgent call for improved air quality, the MOENV has been carrying out policies urging replacement of old vehicles with new ones or switch to electric vehicles due to the fact that pollution from older vehicles has a significantly higher impact on the environment compared to new or electric ones. Such policies have led to a 30% improvement in air quality from 2017 to 2022, aligning with the expected outcomes.

The MOENV explains that improving air quality requires a multi-faceted approach. Whether the purpose is to enhance usage of public transportation or promote replacement of old vehicles with new or electric ones, different strategies need to be implemented based on various public transportation infrastructures. Specifically, efforts to combat motorcycle emissions, before 2019, focused on reducing air pollution and increasing public acceptance of electric motorcycles.

Consequently, subsidies were provided to encourage purchase of new electric motorcycles. From 2020 to 2021, policies were shifted to replacing old motorcycles manufactured before 30 June 1997 so as to reduce emissions from highly polluting old motorcycles. Currently, aligning with the 2050 net-zero emissions policy, the MOENV offers subsidies for retiring old motorcycles, encouraging people to switch to public transportation. If individuals choose to purchase electric motorcycles, the MOENV will seek developers under environmental impact assessments (EIAs) that have matching needs to purchase benefits gained from such purchases, namely, carbon and air pollution reduction. According to data from national transportation air quality monitoring stations, the levels of

PM2.5 and nitrogen oxides (NOx) have been on a declining trend in recent years. The PM2.5 level dropped from 20.1μg/m3 in 2017 to 14.9μg/m3 in 2022, and the NOx level from 46.27 ppb to 34.0 ppb, reflecting a nearly 30% improvement. These figures indicate that the aforementioned policies have achieved the goal of improving air quality.

The MOENV emphasizes that air quality improvement policies are to evolve along with time and focus on lowering air pollution, reducing private vehicles, encouraging the use of public transportation, and creating an environment friendly to electric vehicles without stressing one over another. These efforts are essential to collectively build a low-carbon, low-polluting transportation environment.

Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, November 2023

Ministry of Environment