Fact sheet: ‘Euro’ pollutant emission standards
The EU automobile industry has invested heavily in complex exhaust control technology to deliver vehicles which go beyond today’s stringent emission standards.
Since 1992, the EU has introduced increasingly stricter exhaust emission limits for each new vehicle sold in the EU (‘Euro’ standards). Today, emissions measured on the road using portable emission measuring systems (PEMS) are at a barely measurable level.
The latest standard – Euro 6 – was introduced in 2014 and replaced in 2017 by Euro 6d, updated again in 2020. A further update – Euro 6e – is coming in 2022. The European Commission is expected to publish its proposal for Euro 7 on 9 November.
Recent studies have shown that the renewal of the fleet with the latest Euro 6/VI vehicles – alongside the electrification of new vehicles – would deliver an 80% reduction in road transport NOx emissions by 2035 (compared to 2020).
Over the same timeframe, the most stringent Euro 7 scenarios (ie limits for NOx and particles set at zero) would reduce road transport NOx emissions by less than a further 5% for cars and vans compared to Euro 6d levels, and by about 2% for trucks.
Furthermore, under the recently-agreed CO2 regulation, by 2035 all new cars and vans sold in the EU will have to be zero-emissions. The Commission will also soon bring forward proposals to revise the CO2 standards for heavy-duty vehicles, which will likely entail an accelerated shift to zero-emission vehicles.
Any impact of Euro 7/VII will take several years to realise – meaning that it will start being felt during the time that increasing numbers of zero-emission vehicles will be coming to market due to the CO2 regulations. This means that, without tackling the older fleet, Euro 7/VII will have a marginal impact on road transport NOx emissions.
Without tackling the older fleet, Euro 7/VII will have a marginal impact on road transport NOx emissions.