11 January 2001

The European Commission (EC) has adopted a proposal on emission standards from small machinery equipped with gasoline (petrol) engines. The types of engines covered are used in for instance lawn movers, chain saws, bush cutters, trimmers and snow removal equipment. The proposed standards, when adopted, will help to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds and thus contribute to limit ground level ozone formation, which was identified in the Auto-Oil 2 program as one of the key remaining air quality problems facing the European Community. Emissions from small utility engines are currently not regulated in the European Union.

The proposal includes two stages of limit values, the first to be met 18 months after the regulation is in force and the second one between 2004 and 2010 depending on the category of the engine. When the second stage has been implemented the emissions from an engine for the smallest types of equipment, so called handheld engines, will be about 80-85% lower than from an engine of today. The EC also anticipates an additional fuel saving of about 30%, due to technological improvements, which is expected to off-set the cost increase for the consumer.

The proposed standards have been developed in co-operation with the US EPA with an intention of a world-wide standard harmonization. This would streamline the engine development process for the manufacturers and allow the possibility to market one engine concept world-wide.

The adopted proposal, COM (2000)840, will amend and become a part of the Directive 97/68/EC, which regulates emissions from non-road diesel engines.

Source: European Commission