We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
Opening of the new "VELA 7" facility to test fuel consumption and emissions of trucks and buses. The new installation at the JRC Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES) realistically simulates wind drag, tyre/road friction and full drive cycles for real-life articulated lorries of up to 40 tonnes or 12m long buses. It comes at a crucial time when the definition of implementation guidelines for new emission standards, notably the Euro VI regarding heavy duty vehicles, must be completed by 1st April 2010.
The work of the VELA laboratory is focused above all on the impact on the environment. It is engaged in assessing new technologies (e.g. exhaust fume purification) and diagnostic systems, in the analysis of the impact of alternative fuels and fuel additives on emissions, and in the efficiency of alternative propulsion systems (hydrogen power, hybrid engines).
As part of its programme, the laboratory has carried out an extensive range of tests – in collaboration with the European Automobile and Petroleum Industry Associations –to ascertain the hydrocarbon emissions of vehicles fuelled with bio-ethanol blends, while also studying the sustained performance of electric cars on its chassis dynamometer. Another focus of the laboratory's work is studying the emission levels of heavy duty vehicles (HDV). With the help of European HDV manufacturers, emissions were measured and studied under real world conditions while vehicles were operated on the road.
Berta Duane, JRC Press officer Ispra (IT): Tel.: +39 033278 9743
Fact sheet: The Vehicle Emission Laboratories (VELA) at JRC
JRC report on biofuels (March 2008)