21 December 2005

The European Commission has published proposed “Euro 5” regulation to further reduce emissions from new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. Compared to current Euro 4 emission standards, the proposal calls for an 80% reduction of PM emissions from diesel cars, which would de facto require installation of particulate filters on all new diesel vehicles (filters currently used on European diesel cars have been introduced mostly on a voluntary basis). Diesel NOx emissions, on the other hand, would be reduced by a modest 20%, which would not require emission aftertreatment.

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The proposal will now be considered by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers. The new Euro 5 limits will enter into force by mid 2008 at the earliest.

The main elements of the proposal are:

  • Diesel cars
    • An 80% reduction in PM emissions (a limit of 5 mg/km, down from 25 mg/km)
    • A 20% reduction in NOx emissions (200 mg/km, down from 250 mg/km)
  • Light commercial diesels (such as vans)
    • A 90% reduction in PM emissions (a limit of 5 mg/km)
    • A 20% reduction in NOx emissions
  • Gasoline cars
    • 25% reductions in emissions of NOx and HC (limits of 60 and 75 mg/km, respectively)
    • Introduction of a PM emission limit (equal to that for diesels) for lean burn direct injection gasoline cars.
  • Heavy passenger vehicles (such as SUVs)
    • Removal of an exemption that enabled heavy passenger vehicles (Class M1, over 2500 kg) to be type approved using emission standards of light commercial vehicles.

The proposal is generally similar to the draft Euro 5 consultation document published in July 2005, but PM limits for light commercial vehicles, which were more relaxed, are now equal to those for cars.

The implementation date for the Euro 5 standards will be 18 months after the entry into force of the regulation for new type approvals and 36 months for all new vehicles.

Source: European Commission