THE MOST RECENT EUROPEAN REGULATION GOVERNING HEAVY VEHICLE EMISSIONS HAS BEEN PUBLISHED,
AND BUSINESSES SHOULD BE PREPARING NOW FOR THE CHANGES.
The details were made public in 2009, with effective dates of December 31, 2012 for approval of new types of vehicles and engines, and December 31 2013 for all newly registered vehicles.
Previous legislation, known as Euro 1,2,3,4 and 5, was driven by concerns over health hazards posed by exhaust emissions. Euro 6 continues this theme, with far stricter sets of rules. Euro 4 engines could emit 3.5g/kWh of oxides of Nitrogen, but Euro 5 just 2 g/kWh. Euro 6 will see this reduced even further to 0.4 g/kWh.
The major challenge will be for manufacturers, with cleaner engines needing rethinks on engine design, with technologies being adopted including exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and selective catalytic reduction (SCR).
Many experts are also predicting that a diesel particulate filter (DPF) will also be required due to the emphasis of Euro 6 on particulates. The result of these technologies being introduced is the engines are likely to be more costly and complicated to run.
A study carried out for the Department for Transport has suggested that the increase in system cost would be as much as 50 per cent. Bus operators in particular are concerned that fuel efficiency has actually worsened under the legislation previously introduced by the Euro legislation, which is designed rather to improve the effects on
health of engines.
Commentators warn that manufacturers will need to juggle the parameters such as cost, fuel consumption and performance, while meeting the new standards in a way that is acceptable to operators.
Manufacturers are already experimenting with different techniques and there is some argument as to which will become the most commonplace.
Abels Moving Services has a policy in place to upkeep and maintain its fleet of vehicles to an environmental acceptable level. All new vehicles are purchased as Euro5, older vehicles that are carrying out their normal working life are compliant and have received upgrades to particulate filters to allow entry into London Emission Zones.