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European Parliament Pushes Back Implementation of Euro 5 Standards

Euro standards and Tier 2 Bin 5. Click to enlarge.

The Environment Committee of the European Parliament voted last week to push the implementation of the Euro 5 standards back from mid-2008, as had been proposed early this year, to 1 September 2009 for private cars (M1).

Vehicles with a maximum laden weight of more than 2,500 kg; diesel family vehicles seating 7 or more; vehicles and designed to meet specific social needs; off-road vehicles; and light commercial vehicles (N1) will have until 1 September 2010 to comply.

The transition periods would extend up to 1 January 2011 (M1) and 1 January 2012 (N1) respectively.

Some Members of Parliament (MEPs) are suggesting that starting dates be set for the subsequent Euro 6 standards. They suggest 1 September 2014 for private cars (M1) and 1 September 2015 for light commercial vehicles (N1). Transition periods would run up to 1 September 2015 and 1 September 2016 respectively.

The proposed Euro 6 standards for NOx limits for diesel passenger cars are almost twice as high as those required by the current US Tier 2 Bin 5 / California LEV II standards (0.07 g/km in Euro 6 vs. 0.04 g/km in Tier 2 Bin 5).

A full vote on the rules will come in October.



fyi CO2

Dr. Z & the Euro autom. lobby are doing a good job duplicating US lobbying efforts


Care should be taken in directly comparing the emissions limits values for US and EU emissions testing as the test cycles used are very different. (MVEG vs FTP75)

Direct comparison as performed in the article above is not accurate. For a real comparison, expected values from one cycle to the other are highly dependent on the vehicle used. The limits themselves should not be compared.


The Euro automotive association has signed up to VOLUNTARY fuel economy improvements so I'm not sure how you came up with that statement fyi_CO2.

In any case, the St5 and S6 regs are still a reduction on current (st4) regs.

fyi CO2

Responsible mandates should be adhered to.
At least you guys don't have the E85 loophole.

Rafael Seidl

Perhaps it's worth pointing out that even today, not just Euro 6 but also the Euro 5 standards for M1 vehicles remain in the DRAFT stage. Engineers need a defined rather than a moving target to work against, and R&D cycles are 30+ months long. The last transition from Euro 3 to Euro 4 happened in 2005, after a much longer period of preparation.

The other point worth making here is this: mandating much lower emissions than *affordable* technology is able to deliver - as the US did in the 80s - can effectively kill off an important technology and market segment: diesel engines. This is relevant to both the EU and to emerging (export) markets in Asia.

Europe (excl. Russia) has few remaining domestic oil reserves left; North Sea production is expected to peak soon, even using the most modern recovery technologies. Fuels from crops and waste cannot yet fill the gap. Therefore, keeping a lid on oil imports (by sticking with efficient diesels) has been prioritized over an even faster tightening of the emissions regs. That may strike medical prefessionals as irresponsible but Europe welfare systems and demographics make a further increase in life expectancy undesirable at this time. The US and Japan face different challenges and have each taken different regulatory action. One size does not fit all.

Also note that many recent advances in gasoline engine efficiency (e.g. charge motion control, direct injection, variable geometry turbchargers etc.) were first introduced to mass production in diesel engines. Despite fundamental differences, there is substantial cross-pollination between the two technologies, presently leading to engine efficiency improvements of 5-10% in each R&D cycle (2-3 years).

Ron Fischer

Does Europe have slightly less stringent emissions standards but better overall enforcement? I'm concerned that we're reaching a point of diminishing returns w.r.t. standards setting, i.e. 10% of emitters are producing nearly all pollution because enforcement is poor.



“One size does not fit all”
Can not agree more. North America has huge reserves of oil, and for foreseen future have a luxury to focus on lowering harmful (to human health) emission first, without resenting to fuel efficiency at any cost.

Cross-pollination of diesel and gasoline engines certainly have place. However, charge motion control was widely employed on carbureted gasoline engines, and recent advance of direct gasoline injection just returns this technology to the map. As for variable geometry turbochargers, widely employed on modern diesel engines to simplify EGR, this technology is not really appealing to gasoline engines. Unlike diesel, which benefit from turbocharging at any mode of operation, gasoline engine totally waste turboboost on partial throttle, and make use of it at only fully open throttle at already high RPM. No place for variable geometry turbocharger advantages here is anticipated. The greatest innovation “borrowed” from diesel engines certainly is direct injection gasoline technology, and hopefully in near future NOx absorbers.

And for “undesirable” increase in life expectancy – you gotta be kidding, right?


Unfortunately, You are right. Legal system in Free World does not allow to impose more stringent emission standards on vehicles already sold. So they are allowed to pollute at will while they are running. Natural die-off of old vehicles is major contributor to cleaner air, but while somehow working to personal vehicles, it is lagging on commercial ones. Extreme example is US rail locomotives, which have life span approaching whopping 50 years. I believe that from point of view cost/result buying out old junkers is the most efficient way to improve our air, but unfortunately government buy-out programs are way underfunded.


P.S. Rafael:
US emission legislation of 1990 did not kill diesel engines. It was overall inferior economy of diesel cars and poor diesel technology which diminished diesel cars from US/Canada market near to zero. Only recent (2007) legislation is effectively phasing out light duty transportatinal diesel engines from US market. When the leader in light-duty diesel engines (Europe) will solve emission problems, light-duty diesel engines will be readily welcomed to the US market.


That is the point though isn't it Andrey?

One man's "emissions problems" are another man's political decision to favour reduced fuel use!

Plus in use monitoring ie annual vehicle checks are much more widepread in the EU than in the US eg Junker states.

Rafael Seidl

Andrey -

while it is true that Porsche is so far the only company to have produced a gasoline engine with a VTG turbo, there are R&D efforts underway to bring this technology to less expensive vehicles as well. VTG would be useful in gasoline turbo engines precisely because it can compensate to some extent for the lower density of exhaust gases in throttled operation, minimizing turbo lag. This is critical for wider market acceptance of turbocharged gasoline engines with modest displacement and superior fuel economy.

US emissions regs are based on the vehicle reagrdless of fuel efficiency, which has been a federal preserve (where various lobbies wield more influence). California's attempt to add CO2 to the list of emissions under state control has set off a turf war in the courts. While killing off LDV diesels was never an explicit goal, it was clear and accepted from the outset that this would be a consequence. Since then, standards have tightened further - ostensibly to protect public health but also to protect US carmakers from European competition. Btw, Europe and Japan practice more severe forms of technical protectionism.

Wrt Europe's demographics: I did not mean to imply that a further increase in life expectancy is in and of itself undesirable, merely that many European countries currently lack the financial basis for making that a policy goal. The combination of overly rigid labor markets (incl. restrictive immigration) and overly generous welfare benefits (incl. socialized health care) is at the heart of why Germany, France, Italy and others are such economic laggards.


The longer lifespan of a diesel can be misleading; depreciation and the march of emissions regulations & technology relegate a 7 year old heavy duty on-highway diesel truck to the recycling bin. Diesel engine retrofits are a very hot subject - Ultra low sulfur diesel with 20% Bio added make most diesels retrofitable with a diesel oxidation Catalyst or diesel particulate filter. We can clean up older diesels dramatically.


On a side note, the european manufacturers won't meet their voluntary limits on CO2 anyway. Currently the EU Commission is looking at imposing a clearly defined fleet emission goal, with hefty fines for manufacturers failing to meet the goal in the set time period.

It's being said that the fines are in the Multi-Million Euro Range per year and manufacturer, so that selling cars like SUVs, larger combis will be a costing the manufacturers a lot of money. They will need to bring back the 3l Lupo (already discontinued), the VW Golf Eco (already discontinued), the Eco A2, and of course the smart. None of the larger cars currently meet the CO2 goals set.

The only mid-class car meeting the limits set for 2012 as of now are the Prius and Honda Civic Hybrid...

Note that this CO2 limit is discussed independently of the Smog emissions...

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