Controlling Vehicular Emissions in Beijing During the Last Decade

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - standards, land use - planning, organisation - regulation, organisation - management, technology - alternative fuels, place - urban, mode - bus, mode - mass transit, mode - subway/metro


Urban transit, Urban planning, Unleaded gasoline, Transportation control measures, Transit, Town planning, Smog control, Regulation, Public transit, Pollutants, Peking (China), NGV powered buses, Natural gas buses, Metropolitan area planning, Mass transit, Local transit, Lead free gasoline, Inspection, Emissions, Emission standards, Emission control, Community planning, CNG powered buses, Clean fuels, City planning, Beijing (China), Alternative fuels, Alternate fuels, Air quality management, Air pollution control, Air pollution, Air pollutants


The vehicle population of Beijing is sharply increasing at an average annual rate of 14.5%, causing severe transportation and environmental problems. The Beijing municipal government and the public have worked hard to control vehicular emissions since 1995. Strategies and measures have been introduced to regulate land use and traffic planning, emission control of in-use vehicles and new vehicles, fuel quality improvement, introduction of clean fuel vehicle technology and fiscal incentives. New development plans for Beijing will change the transportation structure by encouraging public transportation. For in-use vehicles, the I/M program has employed ASM tests since early 2003 and the government has encouraged the retirement of high-emission vehicles. For new vehicles, Beijing introduced Euro 1 and Euro 2 emission standards in early 1999 and 2003, respectively. It is also confirmed that Euro 3 standards will be introduced in 2005. At the same time, the fuel quality in Beijing was improved significantly, by banning lead and reducing sulfur among other changes. CNG and LPG were introduced in 1999 and are used in buses and taxis. Today Beijing has the largest CNG bus fleet in the world with more than 2000 dedicated CNG buses. Beijing has also focused on fiscal incentives such as tax deductions for new vehicles meeting enhanced emission standards to encourage their sales. These strategies and measures have had an impact on the control of vehicular emissions. Despite the rapid increase of the vehicle population by 60% between 1998 and 2003, total vehicular emissions have not increased. With the enhancement of vehicular emission control, the air quality in Beijing is improving as the city strives to its goal for a “Green Olympics”.


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