Post Euro-6-Standard: Modern Methods for Protecting the Environment and Climate

The European Commission is planning the successor to the currently applicable emissions standard. It is an opportunity for further reduction of pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions in road traffic.

©Nick ter Haar via Unsplash

The Euro standards regulate the pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions of passenger cars and commercial vehicles within the framework of type approval and periodic exhaust emission testing in the European area. Now the European Commission is planning the successor to the currently applicable exhaust emission standard. It can lead the way worldwide with the post Euro 6/VI emissions standard and use the regulation to further reduce pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions in road traffic. To achieve this, however, the new regulations will have to take into account emissions over the entire service life of a vehicle even more than before. To this end, emissions testing must be optimized as part of periodic technical inspections. The announcements made so far by the EU Commission as part of the planned impact assessment are not sufficient to achieve this. There is no clear commitment that emission defects in motor vehicles must be treated at the same level as safety defects. This is because their damage potential, even if not immediately visible, is actually much higher.

There is a need for action in the following areas:

  •  The periodic emissions test makes a significant contribution to environmental and climate protection. It ensures that the emission behavior of motor vehicles does not deteriorate significantly over the entire period of use.
  •  Emission defects, such as damage, aging, wear and unauthorized manipulation or deactivation of emission-critical systems, must be recognized as safety defects. Road safety and environmental compatibility are inextricably linked.
  •  Many pollutant emissions from motor vehicles are not regulated, but they do have a negative impact on health and the environment. The challenge here is to find a technology-neutral approach to validly assess all relevant pollutants, such as microparticulates, ammonia (NH3), methane (CH4), and formaldehyde.
  •  Nitrogen oxide immissions are a fundamental problem in the European Union. Therefore, it seems necessary to integrate the verification of NOx emissions into the periodic exhaust emission test in the future.

The complete recommendations for action by the TÜV Association, DEKRA, the ASA Association and the ZDK are summarized in the accompanying industry position paper.