Vehicle Emissions in a Post Euro 6 Context

Vehicle Emissions in a Post Euro 6 Context

POLIS is contributing to the Advisory Group on Vehicle Emission Standards (AGVES) managed by DG-GROW where the development of post-Euro 6/VI emission standards is being discussed. The current Euro standards still have significant impacts in vehicle emissions in urban conditions, as both light and heavy-duty vehicles tend to over emit, limiting air quality improvements in European cities and regions.

POLIS’ recommendations to AGVES focus on four main points.

Policies which put the well-being of citizens first

A new framework should put the health and environment in its core. Rather than aiming for a robust and closed structure with detailed technical provisions, there is a need for better collaboration, more transparency and more flexibility. Harmonisation and a technology-neutral approach in formulating requirements will reduce complexity.

Improved testing and surveillance

The new emission standards require simply formulated, unambiguous, measurable environmental requirements which should apply in all driving conditions. Simple but expertly executed tests performed by independent testing parties, market surveillance authorities or during periodic technical inspections should provide conclusive evidence to show an emission problem. In that case, the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) must propose and implement an effective solution swiftly. A single European type-approval agency to grant single market access would offer better guarantees in terms of environmental performance. It would also facilitate harmonious and uniform callbacks and decisive action EU-wide in case of emission-related issues.

Clear and proper responsibilities

The aim of the legislation should be to guarantee the lowest possible emissions throughout the lifespan of the vehicles concerned. A good emission performance is a shared responsibility from the OEM and the owner. However, the OEM should take a central role, given their expertise and the increasing means of monitoring the performance of vehicle (emission control) systems.

Enacting change for a better quality of life in cities and regions: 

More stringent vehicle emission standards should be introduced and go together with the rapid development of the alternative fuels charging infrastructure and decreasing total cost of ownership for electric vehicles. The cities’ efforts in the introduction of the Low Emission Zones and Zero Emission Zones should be recognised and further encouraged. The technology neutrality approach for light-duty vehicles in the cities should be replaced by zero-tailpipe emission vehicles. For the heavier duty vehicles, electric modes within the urban areas should be considered and encouraged.

The participation of local authorities in the development of the post-euro 6/VI standards is critical. More details will come soon. If in the meantime you have a question, please contact Sabina Asanova and Gabriela Barrera.