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An update on diesel retrofit projects in Israel

21 September 2018

A conference on clean diesel projects in Israel was held in Tel Aviv on September 5-6, 2018. During the conference—organized by the VERT Association—an update on DPF retrofit initiatives of existing vehicle fleets was presented by Amir Zalzberg, the Head of Transportation and Fuel Division of the Israel Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP).

The work on retrofitting diesel engines with particulate filters started in 2014, when specific orders were issued by the MEP to the biggest heavy-duty (HD) fleets in Israel. The orders mandated reduction of PM emissions, and one of the possible routes was retrofitting a filter. Some 400 VERT certified filters were retrofitted during 2015–2018 due to these orders. The MEP subsidized most of the cost of the filters for public transportation companies.

Starting from February 2018, a Low Emission Zone (LEZ) was established in the city of Haifa. The local regulation prohibits the entrance of < Euro IV (PM only) HD diesel vehicles. Starting from January 2019, the regulation will be expanded to < Euro 4 (PM only) light commercial vehicles (LCV), vans and taxis. Vehicles can enter the LEZ if retrofitted with a DPF. The MEP subsidizes 50% of filter costs, when the installations are performed by garages that won public tenders. The fine for violating the city law is 500 NIS (140 USD). The fine is doubled for company vehicles, as well as for a second violation. Jerusalem also approved a similar LEZ city law for the inner parts of the city center but enforcement has not started yet.

Starting in November 2018, a new nationwide regulation will come into force that will require filter installation in order to renew the vehicle license of M3, M2 and N3 category diesel vehicles that were first registered in 2005 or earlier. N2, N1 and M1 category diesel vehicles < Euro 4 (PM only) will have a front window sticker which specifies the vehicle as a high emitter. About 67 million NIS (18.7 million USD) in grants will be provided for DPF retrofitting at garages that won public tenders. Hundreds of vehicles are already being retrofitted to comply with the new regulation, and thousands more are expected to follow.

In addition, the Israeli rail company is installing particulate filters on 160 diesel engine generators. The government has also been calling on local authorities to ban the use of high emitting construction machinery in residential areas. Unfortunately, in spite of financial subsidies offered by the MEP, no local authority has yet implemented clean emission requirements for construction machinery.

All retrofitted filters in Israel must be approved by VERT/US EPA/CARB/FOEN, and should reduce PN emissions by at least 98%. However, no PN emission testing is conducted at this time—after DPF installation the vehicle must pass an annual smoke opacity test with a limit value of k = 0.2 m-1. The MEP intends to improve the road worthiness emission test by implementing an additional PN emission measurement at idle, to detect removed or damaged particulate filters.

Source: VERT Association