Euro Emissions Standards: What They Mean For You

Euro Emissions Standards: What They Mean For You

Meeting Euro emissions standards is an important part of running a fleet business and so is ensuring you get maximum efficiency from the fuel your company buys. Fuel cards help you get maximum efficiency from the diesel and petrol your vehicles use. Find out more about how iCompario can help you find the right fuel cards for your fleet.

Thu, 14 October 2021

Euro emissions standards are about reducing the harmful impact vehicles have on the environment and air quality. It’s EU legislation that covers all vehicles, such as passenger cars, work vans and HGVs, buses, coaches and other heavy-duty vehicles.

Our guide explains what Euro emissions standards are, how they apply, why they’re important and if they’re set to remain in place after Brexit.

We make it easy for you to find out what your car’s emissions rating is, clarify what targets have been set for vehicles and explain the key definitions associated with Euro emissions standards.

A vehicle exhaust represents the importance of Euro emissions standards, with portable emissions measurement systems potentially used to test this vehicle

credit: Flickr

What are Euro emissions standards?

European (Euro) emissions standards relate to emissions for new vehicles produced by motor manufacturers that are sold within the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA). These vehicle emissions standards are designed to reduce the damaging impact of vehicles on the environment.

There are six different standards of emission that relate to vehicles sold within the EU and EEA since the end of 1992. These standards depend on the date when your car was newly registered, and are labelled from Euro 1 to Euro 6.

The table below shows the six different types of Euro emissions standard and their corresponding date:

Date your vehicle was newly registered from Your vehicle’s emissions standard
31st December 1992 Euro 1
1st January 1997 Euro 2
1st January 2001 Euro 3
1st January 2006 Euro 4
1st January 2011 Euro 5
1st September 2015* Euro 6

*Some engines may in fact have a Euro 5 engine, as this article explains. Check with the manufacturer to be certain of the standard the engine of your vehicle meets.

You can learn more about Euro emissions by visiting the European Commission website. The Emissions in the automotive sector page is particularly useful for providing additional information.

Compare the best fuel cards for your business

iCompario is the free online marketplace for business products and services, where managers and owners can research and rapidly compare fuel cards, vehicle tracking systems, insurance, telecoms and other essentials. The team follows up online queries by telephone so every site visitor finds their ideal, future-proof product at the best price possible.

Meeting Euro emissions standards is an important part of running a fleet business and so is ensuring you get maximum efficiency from the fuel your company buys. Fuel cards help you get maximum efficiency from the diesel and petrol your vehicles use. Find out more about how iCompario can help you find the right fuel cards for your fleet.

Do Euro emissions matter now that Brexit has happened?

In short, yes, Euro emissions do still matter after Brexit. This is because the UK government hasn’t indicated it will extricate drivers and businesses from the principles enshrined in the Euro emissions standards.

The government is reviewing all EU legislation and likely to scrap and repeal a lot of it, but it is highly unlikely to take any backward steps in legislation around protecting the environment. Indeed, all its steps so far have been to push for stricter legislation and then hope other countries follow the UK’s lead.

Key post-Brexit changes aren’t in the content of the policies regarding emissions but in their implementation. This is outlined in the government’s CO2 emissions for new cars and vans report, which was published on 31 December 2020.

The report opens with the following statements:

“CO₂ [Carbon Dioxide] emissions from cars and vans newly registered in the UK were previously governed by European Union (EU) regulations.

“Data was gathered each year on fleets across Europe, and manufacturers who failed to meet their CO₂ targets were fined.

“DfT [Department for Transport] has now taken over the application and enforcement of CO₂ standards for GB-registered cars and vans, as of 1 January 2021”.

Unless there’s further notice from the government, Euro emissions are still the standard UK regulation for petrol and diesel cars, vans and heavy-duty vehicles. This means they’ll continue to remain something that impacts drivers and fleet managers.

Where does km, HC, & NOx fit into exhaust emissions?

HC, km and NOx are all important terms when it comes to vehicles and their exhaust emissions. Each of these things plays a role in Euro emissions standards and we’ve explained them in more detail below for you:

  • HC: Hydrocarbons
  • km: Kilometres
  • NOx: Oxides of Nitrogen

Before explaining where they fit into exhaust emissions, here are some further terms you need to know:

  • CO: Carbon Monoxide
  • PM: Particulate matter
  • PN: Particle Number
  • THC: Total Hydrocarbon
  • NMHC: Non-Methane Hydrocarbons

These things are included in Euro emissions standards and there are limitations on each, as you can see from the example below of the Euro 1 emissions standards for diesel:

  • CO: 2.72g/km
  • HC + NOx: 0.97g/km
  • PM: 0.14g/km

Euro 1 to Euro 6: how to check your vehicle emissions standard

We’ve shown you how you can establish your car’s emissions standard based on the year it was newly registered from. Now we will show you how to check what that standard means for the emissions your vehicle is allowed to emit.

Below, you’ll find the Euro standards for vehicles with petrol and diesel engines:

Euro 1

Petrol engines

  • HC + NOx: 0.97g/km
  • CO: 2.72g/km

Diesel engines

  • HC + NOx: 0.97g/km
  • PM: 0.14g/km
  • CO: 2.72g/km

Euro 2

Petrol engines

  • HC + NOx: 0.5g/km
  • CO: 2.2g/km

Diesel engines

  • HC + NOx: 0.7g/km
  • PM: 0.08g/km
  • CO: 1.0g/km

Euro 3

Petrol engines

  • THC: 0.20g/km
  • NOx: 0.15g/km
  • CO: 2.3g/km

Diesel engines

  • HC + NOx: 0.56g/km
  • NOx: 0.50g/km
  • PM: 0.05g/km
  • CO: 0.66g/km

Euro 4

Petrol engines

  • THC: 0.10g/km
  • NOx: 0.08g/km
  • CO: 1.0g/km

Diesel engines

  • HC + NOx: 0.30g/km
  • NOx: 0.25g/km
  • PM: 0.025g/km
  • CO: 0.50g/km

Euro 5

Petrol engines

  • THC: 0.10g/km
  • NMHC: 0.068g/km
  • NOx: 0.06g/km
  • PM: 0.005g/km (direct injection only)
  • CO: 1.0g/km

Diesel engines

  • HC + NOx: 0.23g/km
  • NOx: 0.18g/km
  • PM: 0.005g/km
  • PN [#/km]: 6.0×10 ^11/km
  • CO: 0.50g/km

Euro 6

Petrol engines

  • THC: 0.10g/km
  • NMHC: 0.068g/km
  • NOx: 0.06g/km
  • PM: 0.005g/km (direct injection only)
  • PN [#/km]: 6.0×10 ^11/km (direct injection only)
  • CO: 1.0g/km

Diesel engines

  • HC + NOx: 0.17g/km
  • NOx: 0.08g/km
  • PM: 0.005g/km
  • PN [#/km]: 6.0×10 ^11/km
  • CO: 0.50g/km

How important are Euro emissions for diesel cars?

Euro emissions are extremely important for diesel cars. This is confirmed by the UK government’s continuing commitment to the principles of the Euro emissions standards.

Diesel cars emit less carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and lead pollutants than petrol cars. However, diesel cars emit considerably more particulates and noticeably more noxious gases.

The current verdict is that a diesel car is more polluting than a petrol car. This means that Euro emissions are arguably more important for diesel cars than they are for petrol cars.

How important are Euro emissions for petrol cars?

Euro emissions are very important for petrol cars. This much is clear from the UK government’s confirmation that it will continue to implement the aims of the Euro emissions standards to reduce the impact vehicles have on the environment.

Petrol cars emit more carbon dioxide (CO₂) than diesel cars. CO₂ created by human activities is the single greatest contributor to climate change and cars are a significant part of these activities.

However, while CO₂ isn’t included in the standards, Euro emissions are extremely important for petrol cars while the government remains committed to combating the effects of climate change.

How important are Euro emissions for light commercial vehicles?

In its Road transport: Reducing CO2 emissions from vehicles report, the European Commission noted that light-duty vehicles (cars and vans) “produce around 15% of the EU emissions of CO2”. It’s helpful to know that vans account for 10% of light-duty vehicles — 90% are cars.

So, it can be said vans are playing a lesser role than cars in the damaging effects vehicles have on the environment. However, that’s not to say that Euro emissions aren’t important for light commercial vehicles.

Given the UK government has shown no signs so far of wishing to stop holding vehicle manufacturers to the EU emissions standards, it’s clear that van owners can’t ignore Euro emissions standards.

How important are Euro emissions for heavy-duty vehicles?

Heavy-duty vehicles (lorries, coaches, buses etc.) require more fuel than cars and vans. That’s a simple fact and it makes it understandable that heavy-duty vehicles account for around 25% of emissions from road transportation in the EU.

The EU regulation 2019/1242 sets CO2 emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles and it came into force on 14 August 2019. This regulation sets targets for reducing the average emissions produced by new lorries, with the targets scheduled for 2025 and 2030.

Of course, the UK has left the EU but the government hasn’t abandoned its commitment to the principles set out in Euro emissions standards. In fact, the government has outlined that it will continue to uphold these standards and that they will continue to be enforced.

Compare the best fuel cards for your business

iCompario is the free online marketplace for business products and services, where managers and owners can research and rapidly compare fuel cards, vehicle tracking systems, insurance, telecoms and other essentials. The team follows up online queries by telephone so every site visitor finds their ideal, future-proof product at the best price possible.

Meeting Euro emissions standards is an important part of running a fleet business and so is ensuring you get maximum efficiency from the fuel your company buys. Fuel cards help you get maximum efficiency from the diesel and petrol your vehicles use. Find out more about how iCompario can help you find the right fuel cards for your fleet.

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