Over the next few years, the European Union will introduce new standards and procedures to monitor emissions. These will take into consideration a wide range of factors that were previously overlooked during official emissions tests. For example, auxiliary equipment such as heaters will also be included. The emissions that are regulated are carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), hydrocarbons (THC), and particle matter (PM). For heavy duty vehicles, ammonia (NH3) and methane (only for gas engines) are also measured. New passenger cars and light commercial vehicles must meet the Euro 6 standard. Heavy duty vehicles (incl. buses) must meet the Euro VI standard.
Passenger Cars and Light Vehicles
The changes are introduced gradually from September 2017 up to 2020, when the new test method, the Word Harmonized Light Vehicle Test (WLTP) will replace the old method, New European Driving Cycle (NEDC).
- September 2017 – WLTP type approval testing is introduced for new car types. Cars approved using the old NEDC test can still be sold.
- September 2018 – All new vehicles must be certified according to the WLTP test procedure.
- January 2019 – All cars at dealerships should have WLTP-CO₂ values only (with some exception for a limited number of vehicles in stock). National governments should adjust vehicle taxation and fiscal incentives to WLTP values.
The WLTP Test
The WLTP will overcome issues and challenges of the old NEDC test procedure. Among others, it introduces a new aspect, the Real Driving Emissions Test (RDE). The RDE requirements are introduced through several regulatory amendments and will be implemented gradually from September 2017. A Portable Emissions Monitoring System (PEMS) will be applied to the vehicle in question, which will then be driven on public roads under a wide range of different conditions in order to measure real emissions. Measurements are in g/km. Conditions include:
- Low and high altitudes
- Year-round temperatures
- Additional vehicle payload
- Up- and down-hill driving
- Urban roads
- Rural roads
Heavy Duty Vehicles
Euro VI was introduced in 2013 including trucks and buses. Engines are tested on a test bed and the process is a steady-state emissions test with measurements in g/kWh. The steady-state cycle is based on a weighted sum of emissions over thirteen modes, which are combinations of engine speed and load. The cycle is based on real world drives in Europe, USA, Japan, and Australia. It is a hot start cycle following a preconditioning at 55% and 50% load.
Amendments have been introduced to the initial Euro VI in order to capture more realistic driving scenarios. For instance, the minimum power threshold has been lowered from 20% to 10% to better account for low load and urban operation. Also, the warm-up phase is to date not covered but will be covered in coming amendments. From January 2019 manufacturers must calculate fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of new vehicles that are produced for the EU market.