Euro 6 exhaust emissions control legislation arrive Sept 2015

In September 2014 all type approved cars had to meet Euro 6 standards, as from September 01 2015 all new registered petrol and diesel cars must be compliant. The Euro 6 standards will also be introduced on type approved Light Commercial Vehicles from September 01 2015. We explain the emission regulations and what they mean for drivers.

The Euro engine emissions legislation was introduced in the early 1990’s to reduce pollutants from vehicles.

This means reducing levels of the harmful exhaust emissions linked to public health problems and air pollution; nitrogen oxide (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HC) and particulate matter (PM).

Meeting these Euro emissions regulations is relatively straightforward for petrol engines. For diesel cars though, it is much more challenging.

Euro 5 regulations clamped down on exhaust particulates, which means many new diesel models are fitted with standard exhaust particulate filters. Euro 6 regulations are targeting a reduction in NOx because of its link to greenhouse gas and air pollution.

The new Euro 6 regulations for diesel cars dramatically drops the permitted level of NOx emitted down to a maximum of 80mg/km compared to the 180mg/km level that was required for cars to meet previous Euro 5 emissions standards. The limit for NOx from petrol cars remains the same as for the Euro 5 standard.

In the short term, the new Euro 6 emission standards, are unlikely to have a direct impact on motorists, although the knock-on effects of reducing emissions can mean better fuel economy and lower CO2.

In the long term, drivers of vehicles not meeting the Euro 6 legislation could find themselves penalised when driving in certain cities. London already operates Low Emission Zones (LEZ’s) with an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) planned by 2020. Outside London, some local authorities have already been allocated prime funding from the Government to develop similar LEZ projects including York, Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield and Birmingham.

Industry has also put effort into reducing emissions from the manufacturing process. The following energy efficiency regimes cover the industry; mandatory EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EUETS), the voluntary UK Climate Change Agreements (CCAs), and the mandatory UK Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) energy efficiency scheme and Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS).

Hyundai cars use innovative technologies called 'Blue Drive' to help improve fuel consumption and reduce emissions. Read more here