Euro 6 Emissions Standards Explained

Published Date: 5th Jun 2018

What Is Euro 6?

Car exhaust emissionsEuro 6 is an engine emissions standard that all NEW cars in Europe must meet.  The Euro 6 standard was made mandatory back in 2015 and means the average CO2 emissions for a car manufacturers's entire range of vehicles needs to be below 130g/km. The standard also restricts a number of pollutants that are harmful to the environment or represent a health hazard; including carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and particulates.  Diesel engines in particular are hit the hardest hit by ‘real world’ testing that goes beyond CO2 emissions testing and introduces more stringent tests for other potentially toxic emissions.

The emissions standards are being reviewed and refined all the time since the first inception of Euro 1 back in 1993. In 2017 Euro 6 is being further developed using a wider variety of ‘real-life’ tests along with lab testing to make the standards applicable to ‘normal use’ conditions. Previously a more scientific approach had been taken to achieving the standard, leading to somewhat misleading figures from some car makers and the ‘emissions scandal’.

What is Euro 6.2?

The Euro 6.2 standard is the latest emissions regulations (also known as Euro 6d-TEMP), it is an extension and improvement over Euro 6 and a stepping stone towards the Euro 6d standard (targeted for 2020).  Euro 6.2 is applicable to all new car models launched from September 2017 and all new car registrations from September 2018 in various European countries and introduces more ‘real-world’ tests. The Euro 6.2 standard is not being enforced in the UK but can be used as a guide for would-be car buyers as an indication that their new car has been subject to the newer ‘real world’ emissions tests.

What is Euro 6d?

The Euro 6d standard deadline is 2020 with stricter testing and an average emissions target of 98g/km for new car manufacturers across their range. The ‘real world’ testing means detection and testing levels of toxic emissions that are potentially harmful to health as well as greenhouse gases and other environmentally unfriendly gases.

How does Euro 6 Affect Car Buyers?

Car makers will be pushing new Euro 6 complaint vehicles, but there’s no onus or legal requirement on the car buyer to purchase a Euro 6 compliant new car, although the benefits are obvious. A Euro 6 complaint vehicle will be cleaner, offer low emissions which means cheaper road tax. It will most likely offer very good mpg figures also and less time filling up at the petrol station. The days when efficient cars offering excellent running costs suffered from poor perfomance are behind us and you can find a good balance between perfomance and economy on a new Euro 6 compliant vehicle such is the ever improving technology.

What's All The Fuss About Diesel Cars?

Particulate exhaust filterAlthough a traditional diesel engine does offer lower CO2 emissions than a petrol counterpart that’s only part of the story. Car’s emit a number of other toxic emissions, some notably harmful to health and the general consensus now is that the CO2 and greenhouse gases bandwagon meant other toxic emissions coming from cars were not being given their due attention.

Diesel and petrol engines produce nitrogen oxides (NO?), these include nitrogen dioxide (NO?), the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N?O) and nitric oxide (NO) which is linked to respiratory problems and diseases. Petrol engines benefit from 3-way catalytic convertors which reduce nitrogen oxides to 30% less on average than their diesel counterparts.

The finer particulate matter (PM) that diesels produce is also linked with cancer and although particulate filters do a good job of filtering out over 90% of the toxic substance a bi-product of this nitrogen dioxide.

With all the bad press and emissions scandal, diesels have been given a very press but car manufacturers are working hard now to meet the latest and future stringent standards, so if you have been a loyal diesel driver we don’t think you need to give up driving diesels by any means as the latest Euro 6 compliant diesels are far superior to older models and shoudn't be subject to some of the so called diesel levies like London's T-Charge or the ULEZ emissions charge which will replace the T-Charge in 2019.