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Chairman’s Report


Andrew Goddard, Chairman, Verification of Lubricant Specifications


The announcement of an Ultra-Low Emission Zone in London to be introduced from May 2019, raises the stakes on what society and regulators expect from automotive vehicles.


Already an inner city congestion charge remains in place to discourage the use of private vehicles in one of Europe’s leading capitals. This was enhanced by the addition of a T charge which is superseded by the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone from April next year.


The T zone mean that older vehicles driving in central London need to meet minimum Euro 4 emission standards or pay an extra daily charge of £10. This is in addition to the Congestion Charge. The T-Charge (officially known as the Emissions Surcharge) operates in the same area as the Congestion Charge and is part of UK Government’s commitment to cleaner air.


From April next year both the penalty and the standards increase. Older vehicles must meet Euro 4 for petrol and Euro 6 emission standards for diesel vehicles or face a £12.50 surcharge for each day they travel within inner London. Larger HGV vehicles face charges of up to £100 a day if Euro IV standards are not met.


The strategy to clean up the air in London forms part of the wider Department for Transport ‘Road to Zero’ emission plans for vehicles, especially Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs). Widely-recognised as the most challenging vehicle sector in terms of zero emissions, the UK Government has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15% of the 2015 level by the year 2025.


Already we have seen automotive vehicle issues such as Low Speed Pre Ignition (LSPI) impact upon the


60 LUBE MAGAZINE NO.148 DECEMBER 2018


smooth operation of automotive vehicles. The constant trend to meet ever challenging emissions controls imposed by regulators has led, in the case of LSPI, to fuel ignition outside the cylinder leading to knocking or in more extreme cases damage or even cracking to the piston.


Engines that are running at higher temperatures, under instances of higher pressures, smaller engine sizes with higher output ratios, and smaller sumps has all led to intricate engine technology that thinner less viscous, synthetic lubricants have to meet.


Any student of elementary economics will tell you about the law of diminishing returns, that ever-constant advances in technology come at a higher price which must be borne by the industry and eventually the consumer.


While at the same time vehicles in Europe are increasing in age, with cars of ten or eleven years old now commonplace on European streets. So are consumers wising up to the notion that vehicle costs and charges for advanced technology come at a price and perhaps existing vehicle owners look at their current vehicle with a thought that ‘it will do for now’.


Whatever the future there are certain to be some interesting challenges over the coming years ahead for lubricants and lubrication.


Merry Christmas.


LINK www.ukla-vls.org.uk


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