Tampere University of Technology

TUTCRIS Research Portal

Impact of the dropping activity with vehicle age on air pollutant emissions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-289
Number of pages8
JournalAtmospheric Pollution Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Road transport is a major source of air pollution especially in cities. Detailed calculations are needed to support road transport emission inventories due to the variance of technologies and operating conditions encountered on the roads. The annual distance driven by cars in relation to their characteristics is an important variable in such calculations. In this work, a large amount of mileage data were collected from second-hand car sellers in Italy and were then analyzed in order to understand the influence of vehicle age on annual mileage driven. The available data enabled the development of dropping functions of annual mileage with vehicle age. It was found that the average mileage of 10 year old cars is only approximately 40% of the mileage driven on year one. This drops to approximately only 10% for 20-year old cars. The findings are of paramount importance in environmental calculations as road transport NOx and PM emissions drop by more than 20% when the corrected functions are used compared to using a constant mileage. Not introducing such a correction may result to an approximately 8% higher nation-wide NOx emissions with negative implications towards meeting the national emission ceilings. In terms of policy implications, the dropping activity with age results to a decrease in the importance of accelerated scrappage schemes and of environmental zones in air quality.


  • Air quality, Emissions, NO, Road transport, Vehicle activity