• Euro-5 consultation, not proposal

    The Commission has taken the automotive world a little by surprise by launching a new consultation on Euro-5 emissions standards.

    [mailchimp_signup][/mailchimp_signup]Brussels was expected to publish formal proposals for Euro-5 limits in July. Instead, it published a consultation exercise based on a set of informal proposals.

    The main recommendations are:

    • all new diesel cars to be fitted with particle filters that bring PM emissions down to 5mg per kilometre

    • nitrogen oxides from diesels to be limited to 200mg/km

    • NOx from petrol cars to be no higher than 60mg/km

    • VOCs to be capped at 75mg/km.

    The industry commissioner Günter Verheugen described the proposals as “ambitious but realistic”, but T&E’s Low Carbon Cars project manager Aat Peterse disagreed. “They are realistic in the sense that they can be reached easily, but for that reason they are certainly not ambitious. These are not standards that will act as an incentive for cleaner technology but a low-cost solution, as the Commission itself admits.

    “In principle we are not against full consultation. I only wish we didn’t get the feeling that this was another step in an EU strategy to slow down commitments to environmental improvement.”

    One aspect of the proposals that has been warmly welcomed is the removal of a loophole which exempts Sport Utility Vehicles from Euro-4 standards. Under Euro-5 they will no longer be allowed to be classed as heavy vehicles to avoid stricter emissions limits.

    Peterse added: “There has been some good spinning from the Commission, as the inclusion of SUVs is the element of Euro-5 that has been played up most strongly in the official publicity.”

    The Commission expects to publish formal proposals by the end of the year.

    This news story is taken from the September 2005 edition of T&E Bulletin.