14 December 2006

The European Parliament adopted a legislative report which supports, with amendments, the proposed Euro 5 emission standards for light-duty vehicles. The new standards will apply from September 2009. The Parliament regarded the 18-month implementation deadline suggested by the Commission—which wanted to introduce Euro 5 standards from mid-2008—as too early.

The adopted document calls for the new Euro 5 standards to apply from 1 September 2009 for private cars (category M1). Vehicles with a maximum laden weight of more than 2,500 kg and designed to meet specific social needs—to take wheelchairs or to seat seven or more people—and light commercial vehicles (N1) will have until 1 September 2010 to comply. The transition period for “vehicles designed for specific social needs” (ambulances, transport for disabled persons etc.) is until 2012.

Following transition periods extending up to 1 January 2011 (M1) and 1 January 2012 (N1) respectively, national authorities must refuse to grant EC or national type approval to new vehicles which do not comply with the Euro 5 standards.

In addition, the Parliament has urged that starting dates be set for the next stage Euro 6 standards, something not envisaged in the Commission proposal. The Parliament is suggesting 1 September 2014 for private cars (M1) and 1 September 2015 for light commercial vehicles (N1).

The proposed Euro 5 standards for diesel cars are PM = 0.005 g/km and NOx = 0.2 g/km (down from 0.025 and 0.25, respectively, at the Euro 4 stage). The new PM standard is expected to require the use of diesel particulate filters on all Euro 5 cars.

To become final, the Euro 5 proposal must be also voted and adopted by the European Council (i.e., the Ministers). If the Council adopts the text at its next week’s meeting in Brussels, the final Euro 5 regulation should be published around mid-2007.

Source: EU Parliament