EU agrees deal on lorry emissions

New standards for emissions from heavy vehicles were agreed in December.1 Greater restrictions on nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulates and other pollutants from lorries and buses will apply from 2013.

MEPs approved the ‘Euro VI’ standards in mid-December. They backed the European Commission’s original proposals, issued a year ago (ENDS Report 396, p 49 ). Euro VI will now be rubber-stamped by ministers, replacing the current Euro IV and Euro V emission standards.

New vehicles of existing models must show compliance before 2014. New models must meet the standards from 2013. Both dates have been brought forward from the Commission’s original proposals.

The EU Regulation, which does not need to be transposed into national legislation, sets limits on carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, methane, nitrogen oxides, ammonia and particulates. Limits on NOx are capped at 400 milligrams per kilowatt hour, 80% below existing Euro VI standards.

A separate limit on emissions of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) may be introduced by the European Commission.

Particulate standards have been set at 10mg/kWh - a two-thirds reduction. A further limit on the number of particles, rather than their mass, will be established. Diesel-powered vehicles will require particulate filters to meet the requirements.

Separate limits for carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and methane apply for compression-ignition (such as diesel) and positive ignition (such as petrol) engines.

Member states will be permitted to give a financial spur to manufacturers to bring forward the introduction of vehicles that meet the new standards.

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