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Vietnam warned of serious air pollution in motorization period

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Vietnam is about to enter the motorization period when the market will boom and the air will become polluted. Policies on restricting the use of old-technology vehicles and encouraging green, clean vehicles are needed.

According to the Vietnam Industry Agency, electrified vehicles, including hybrid, PHEV (
Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles), BEV (Battery Electric Vehicles) and FCEV (Fuel cell electric vehicles), are developing very rapidly around the world.

However, experts point out that it will take a long time to shift from fossil fuel vehicles to BEV, or vehicles powered entirely by electricity. At present, Vietnam’s electricity generation depends largely on coal, about 35 percent, and electricity production generates much CO2. Only when electricity generation creates little CO2 will the use of electrified vehicles be effective.

It would be better to conduct a gradual transformation with a roadmap to be able to reach an equilibrium in emission levels. In other words, the shift to electrical vehicles will be implemented depending on electricity generation sources’ transformation pace.

Vietnam has decided that electricity to be generated from coal would decrease to below 20 percent by 2045, and by that time, electric cars should be popularized.

Electrical vehicle manufacturers also need to sell products at prices lower than traditional vehicles using petrol.

Studies show that electric car production costs are 45 percent higher than for petrol-run cars. To sell electric cars at the same prices as petrol-run cars, manufacturers will accept losses. But only those with powerful financial capability and many different sources of revenue can offset the losses from electric cars.

To develop electric cars, manufacturers need to have big resources to open charging stations throughout the country. This cannot be implemented in a short time. Infrastructure needs to be developed one step ahead.

Analysts have noticed the rapid development of hybrid vehicles. Since these products don’t require charging, and don’t lead to users’ behavior changes, they are believed to be the transitional step from petrol-run to electricity-run cars.

Reusing excessive energy is the biggest advantage of hybrid products. Thanks to hybrid technology, every time a car breaks down, the electricity engine will absorb the inertia force and convert it into electric current to charge the battery, which will be used to run the electricity motor, when the cars need to increase capacity. When the cars stop, the computer will regulate the electric motor to operate and the petrol motor will stop completely.

Green cars

The Hanoi University of Science and Technology in late 2020 assessed the effectiveness of hybrid technology in cars in Vietnam conditions. The car tested was Toyota Corola Cross. Scientists compared the version using hybrid technology and a version using petrol.

The scientists after two months of testing said that the petrol consumed by the 1.8HV version (hybrid) was 57.4 percent lower in inner roads and 18.5 percent lower on roads than the 1.8V (petrol version).

The emissions were also lower. The CO emissions of both versions were the same, nearly zero, while the CO2 emissions of the hybrid version were 18.5-57.4 percent lower. The lower emissions of HC and NOx were also reported for the hybrid version, especially at high speed.

Le Anh Tuan, Head of the School of Transportation Engineering, said when running in the inner city, hybrid versions did not emit gas for two thirds of the distance, and when running on highways, it did not emit gas on one third of the distance, because only the electric motor operated. The car is very fuel efficient and has a low emission level.

In Vietnam, non-rechargeable hybrid cars are still not popular. The products bear the same tax rates as traditional internal combustion engine vehicles. The number of hybrid cars circulating in Vietnam is about 5,000. 

By Tran Thuy – VietnamNet.vn – October 5, 2021

Vietnam warned of serious air pollution in motorization period
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