TRUE publication

Evaluation of real-world vehicle emissions in Warsaw

Clean air
Remote sensing

This report provides a detailed assessment of the real-world emissions of vehicles in Warsaw and offers policy recommendations to improve the environmental performance of the city’s fleet. The study examines the distribution of vehicles in the city and investigates emissions from imported second-hand vehicles, whose use is widespread in Poland. The report also compares the results from Warsaw with a TRUE study conducted in Brussels to help to further understand how different policies in the two cities have impacted emissions from light-duty vehicles, taxis, and buses.

The analysis finds the real-world nitrogen oxide (NOX) emissions from Warsaw’s diesel passenger cars not subject to Real Driving Emissions (RDE) type-approval requirements, namely Euro 2 to Euro 6c, all exceeded regulatory limits. These vehicles have average NOX emissions 1.6 to 4.3 times the regulatory limits. Vehicles certified to standards requiring RDE testing, Euro 6d-TEMP and Euro 6d, show mean distance-specific NOX emissions below the RDE not-to-exceed requirements, but higher than the emissions standard laboratory limit.

The study also finds that approximately 83% of all passenger cars in Warsaw for which valid mileage information was available operate outside the existing regulatory emission durability requirements. The average age of imported second-hand vehicles, which made up 32% of the total light-duty vehicle measurements, is 13 years, more than double that of domestic vehicles, and their average mileage is approximately 223,000 km, or 1.5 times that of domestic vehicles. The average fuel-specific emissions from these vehicles are around double those from domestic vehicles for all pollutants studied.

Restricting the use of diesel and petrol vehicles certified to below Euro 4 standards would remove diesel passenger cars responsible for 18% and 37% of the total NOX and particulate matter (PM) emissions, respectively, while accounting for only 6% of the fleet. It would further affect petrol passenger cars that are responsible for 38% of carbon monoxide (CO) emissions and 35% of hydrocarbon (HC) emissions while only making up 11% of the passenger car fleet. Progressive access restrictions that expand to diesel vehicles certified to Euro 4 and Euro 5 and petrol vehicles certified to Euro 4 would further reduce NOX and PM emissions. Diesel passenger cars in these groups account for 27% of the total NOX and 28% of the total PM emissions, while making up only 13% of the total measurements. The petrol Euro 4 vehicle group alone is responsible for 14% and 10% of the current total CO and HC emissions, respectively.

Paper in Polish: Ocena rzeczywistej emisyjności pojazdów w Warszawie

Fact sheets:
Recommendations for a clean transportation zone in Warsaw
Limiting the emissions from imported second-hand vehicles in Warsaw