Euro 6 Emissions Standards aim to cut traffic pollution
Petrol and diesel combustion engines inevitably produce emissions as part of their normal operation. The Euro 6 standards were introduced within the EU to try and ensure vehicle manufacturers keep harmful emissions below specific limits.
Only aeroplanes and seagoing ships are exempt from testing. Everything else, from scooters to trucks, has a set of standards to meet before they can be Euro 6 compliant and sold within the EU.
That includes both petrol and diesel cars. The rules cover nitrogen oxide (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (THC and NMHC) and particulate matter (PM). The last of which is the soot you can see emanating from the rear of diesel vehicles.
Limits are different for petrol and diesel engines:
- Euro 6 Diesel Emissions Standards (grammes per kilometre): 0.50 CO, 0.080 NOx, 0.005 PM
- Euro 6 Petrol Emissions Standards (grammes per kilometre): 1.0 CO, 0.060 NOx, 0,005 PM
To confuse things more, changes have been made to the testing procedure following the diesel emissions scandal. The standard was originally applied to cars type approved in September 2014, and first registered on the road in September 2015.
Originally the testing was purely carried out in laboratory conditions (known as WLTP), and the testing methods were updated to create a new Euro 6c designation effective from September 1st, 2017.
But a new test on public roads to simulate Real Driving Emissions (RDE) has now been introduced, and cars passing are designed as Euro 6d-TEMP. This is a temporary measure until 2020, when Euro 6d takes full effect.
But whether your car is Euro 6, Euro 6c, Euro 6d-TEMP or Euro 6d, the emission amounts are the same. The difference are purely about testing and how much difference can be allowed between the lab figures and those from testing on real roads. Euro 6-TEMP allows the figures to deviate by 110%, but for full Euro 6d approval, the deviation allowed will be 43%.
Most new cars produced since the end of 2017 are Euro 6d-TEMP compliant, and some manufacturers such as Jaguar and Mercedes already exceed the full Euro 6d regulations.