Background

European Union emission regulations for new light duty vehicles (passenger cars and light commercial vehicles) were once specified in Directive 70/220/EEC with a number of amendments adopted through 2004. In 2007, this Directive has been repealed and replaced by Regulation 715/2007 (Euro 5/6) [2899]. Some of the important regulatory steps implementing emission standard for light-duty vehicles were:

  • Euro 1 standards (also known as EC 93): Directives 91/441/EEC (passenger cars only) or 93/59/EEC (passenger cars and light trucks)
  • Euro 2 standards (EC 96): Directives 94/12/EC or 96/69/EC
  • Euro 3/4 standards (2000/2005): Directive 98/69/EC, further amendments in 2002/80/EC
  • Euro 5/6 standards (2009/2014): Regulation 715/2007 (“political” legislation) [2899] and several comitology regulations

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Applicability. Emission standards for light-duty vehicles are applicable to all vehicles category M1, M2, N1 and N2 with a reference mass not exceeding 2610 kg (Euro 5/6). EU regulations introduce different emission limits for compression ignition (diesel) and positive ignition (gasoline, NG, LPG, ethanol,...) vehicles. Diesels have more stringent CO standards but are allowed higher NOx. Positive ignition vehicles were exempted from PM standards through the Euro 4 stage. Euro 5/6 regulations introduce PM mass emission standards, equal to those for diesels, for positive ignition vehicles with DI engines.

Fuels. The 2000/2005 standards were accompanied by an introduction of more stringent fuel regulations that require minimum diesel cetane number of 51 (year 2000), maximum diesel sulfur content of 350 ppm in 2000 and 50 ppm in 2005, and maximum petrol (gasoline) sulfur content of 150 ppm in 2000 and 50 ppm in 2005. “Sulfur-free” diesel and gasoline fuels (≤ 10 ppm S) must be available from 2005, and became mandatory from 2009.

Emission Testing. Emissions are tested over the NEDC (ECE 15 + EUDC) chassis dynamometer procedure. Effective year 2000 (Euro 3), that test procedure was modified to eliminate the 40 s engine warm-up period before the beginning of emission sampling. This modified cold start test is referred to as the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) or as the MVEG-B test. All emissions are expressed in g/km.

The Euro 5/6 implementing legislation introduces a new PM mass emission measurement method (similar to the US 2007 procedure) developed by the UN/ECE Particulate Measurement Programme (PMP) and adjusts the PM mass emission limits to account for differences in results using the old and the new method. The Euro 5/6 legislation also introduces a particle number (PN) emission limit in addition to the mass-based limits.

Emission Standards

EU emission standards are summarized in the following tables. All dates listed in the tables refer to new type approvals. The EC Directives also specify a second date—one year later, unless indicated otherwise—which applies to first registration (entry into service) of existing, previously type-approved vehicle models.

Table 1
EU Emission Standards for Passenger Cars (Category M1*)
Stage Date COHCHC+NOxNOxPMPN
g/km#/km
Compression Ignition (Diesel)
Euro 1† 1992.07 2.72 (3.16)-0.97 (1.13)-0.14 (0.18)-
Euro 2, IDI 1996.01 1.0-0.7-0.08-
Euro 2, DI 1996.01a 1.0-0.9-0.10-
Euro 3 2000.01 0.64-0.560.500.05-
Euro 4 2005.01 0.50-0.300.250.025-
Euro 5a 2009.09b 0.50-0.230.180.005f-
Euro 5b 2011.09c 0.50-0.230.180.005f6.0×1011
Euro 6 2014.09 0.50-0.170.080.005f6.0×1011
Positive Ignition (Gasoline)
Euro 1† 1992.07 2.72 (3.16)-0.97 (1.13)---
Euro 2 1996.01 2.2-0.5---
Euro 3 2000.01 2.300.20-0.15--
Euro 4 2005.01 1.00.10-0.08--
Euro 5 2009.09b 1.00.10d-0.060.005e,f-
Euro 6 2014.09 1.00.10d-0.060.005e,f6.0×1011 e,g
* At the Euro 1..4 stages, passenger vehicles > 2,500 kg were type approved as Category N1 vehicles
† Values in brackets are conformity of production (COP) limits
a. until 1999.09.30 (after that date DI engines must meet the IDI limits)
b. 2011.01 for all models
c. 2013.01 for all models
d. and NMHC = 0.068 g/km
e. applicable only to vehicles using DI engines
f. 0.0045 g/km using the PMP measurement procedure
g. 6.0×1012 1/km within first three years from Euro 6 effective dates
Table 2
EU Emission Standards for Light Commercial Vehicles
Category† Stage Date COHCHC+NOxNOxPMPN
g/km#/km
Compression Ignition (Diesel)
N1, Class I
≤1305 kg
Euro 1 1994.10 2.72-0.97-0.14-
Euro 2 IDI 1998.01 1.0-0.70-0.08-
Euro 2 DI 1998.01a 1.0-0.90-0.10-
Euro 3 2000.01 0.64-0.560.500.05-
Euro 4 2005.01 0.50-0.300.250.025-
Euro 5a 2009.09b 0.50-0.230.180.005f-
Euro 5b 2011.09d 0.50-0.230.180.005f6.0×1011
Euro 6 2014.09 0.50-0.170.080.005f6.0×1011
N1, Class II
1305-1760 kg
Euro 1 1994.10 5.17-1.40-0.19-
Euro 2 IDI 1998.01 1.25-1.0-0.12-
Euro 2 DI 1998.01a 1.25-1.30-0.14-
Euro 3 2001.01 0.80-0.720.650.07-
Euro 4 2006.01 0.63-0.390.330.04-
Euro 5a 2010.09c 0.63-0.2950.2350.005f-
Euro 5b 2011.09d 0.63-0.2950.2350.005f6.0×1011
Euro 6 2015.09 0.63-0.1950.1050.005f6.0×1011
N1, Class III
>1760 kg
Euro 1 1994.10 6.90-1.70-0.25-
Euro 2 IDI 1998.01 1.5-1.20-0.17-
Euro 2 DI 1998.01a 1.5-1.60-0.20-
Euro 3 2001.01 0.95-0.860.780.10-
Euro 4 2006.01 0.74-0.460.390.06-
Euro 5a 2010.09c 0.74-0.3500.2800.005f-
Euro 5b 2011.09d 0.74-0.3500.2800.005f6.0×1011
Euro 6 2015.09 0.74-0.2150.1250.005f6.0×1011
N2 Euro 5a 2010.09c 0.74-0.3500.2800.005f-
Euro 5b 2011.09d 0.74-0.3500.2800.005f6.0×1011
Euro 6 2015.09 0.74-0.2150.1250.005f6.0×1011
Positive Ignition (Gasoline)
N1, Class I
≤1305 kg
Euro 1 1994.10 2.72-0.97---
Euro 2 1998.01 2.2-0.50---
Euro 3 2000.01 2.30.20-0.15--
Euro 4 2005.01 1.00.10-0.08--
Euro 5 2009.09b 1.00.10g-0.060.005e,f-
Euro 6 2014.09 1.00.10g-0.060.005e,f6.0×1011 e,j
N1, Class II
1305-1760 kg
Euro 1 1994.10 5.17-1.40---
Euro 2 1998.01 4.0-0.65---
Euro 3 2001.01 4.170.25-0.18--
Euro 4 2006.01 1.810.13-0.10--
Euro 5 2010.09c 1.810.13h-0.0750.005e,f-
Euro 6 2015.09 1.810.13h-0.0750.005e,f6.0×1011 e,j
N1, Class III
>1760 kg
Euro 1 1994.10 6.90-1.70---
Euro 2 1998.01 5.0-0.80---
Euro 3 2001.01 5.220.29-0.21--
Euro 4 2006.01 2.270.16-0.11--
Euro 5 2010.09c 2.270.16i-0.0820.005e,f-
Euro 6 2015.09 2.270.16i-0.0820.005e,f6.0×1011 e,j
N2 Euro 5 2010.09c 2.270.16i-0.0820.005e,f-
Euro 6 2015.09 2.270.16i-0.0820.005e,f6.0×1011 e,j
† For Euro 1/2 the Category N1 reference mass classes were Class I ≤ 1250 kg, Class II 1250-1700 kg, Class III > 1700 kg
a. until 1999.09.30 (after that date DI engines must meet the IDI limits)
b. 2011.01 for all models
c. 2012.01 for all models
d. 2013.01 for all models
e. applicable only to vehicles using DI engines
f. 0.0045 g/km using the PMP measurement procedure
g. and NMHC = 0.068 g/km
h. and NMHC = 0.090 g/km
i. and NMHC = 0.108 g/km
j. 6.0×1012 1/km within first three years from Euro 6 effective dates