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Brussels, 21 December 2005

Clean cars: Commission proposes to reduce emissions

Reducing the emissions of new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles is the objective of a draft package, which the European Commission has proposed today. The proposal, commonly referred to as the ‘Euro 5’ standards, will significantly contribute to a further improvement of air quality in Europe. Particulate emissions from diesel cars would be slashed by 80% and nitrogen oxides (NOx) by 20%. The tougher standards proposed would lead to the introduction of particulate filters for diesel cars. For petrol cars, the Commission proposes to cut NOx emissions and hydrocarbons by 25%. The proposal has been developed involving extensive stakeholder consultation and has also been subject to an internet consultation. The proposal will now be considered by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers. The new Euro 5 limits will enter into force by mid 2008 at the earliest.

Commission Vice-President Günter Verheugen responsible for enterprise and industry policy said “This proposal will bring about marked improvements in air quality. As a consequence of Euro 5 particulate filters on new diesel cars will have to be introduced. At the same time, the new emission standards will sustain the competitiveness of our car industry.”

The objective of the Euro 5 proposal is to lay down harmonised rules on the construction of motor vehicles with regard to their atmospheric emissions. The priorities set out in the proposal are to reduce emissions of both particulates and nitrogen oxides, particularly from diesel cars. The new limits should lead to the introduction of particulate filters on all new diesel cars and vans.

The main elements of the proposal:

Diesel cars

  • An 80% reduction in particulate matter (PM) emissions
  • A 20% reduction in nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions

Particulate Matter (mg/km)
NOx (mg/km)
Euro 3 (2000 -31.12.2004)
Euro 4 (from 1.1.2005)
Euro 5 proposal

[Graphic in PDF & Word format]

Petrol cars

  • 25% reductions in emissions of NOx and hydrocarbons (HC)
  • Introduction of a particulate emission limit for lean burn direct injection petrol cars.

HC (mg/km)
NOx (mg/km)
Euro 3 (2000 -2005)
Euro 4 (from 2005)
Euro 5 draft proposal


  • A 90% reduction in particulate matter (PM) emissions
  • A 20% reduction in nitrogen oxides (NOx)


  • Removal of an exemption that enabled heavy passenger vehicles (such as SUVs) with a maximum mass of over 2500kg to be type approved using emission standards of light commercial vehicles.

Furthermore, the proposal foresees an extension of the durability period over which manufacturers must confirm the functioning of emission control devices and the introduction of an implementation date of 18 months after the entry into force of the regulation for new type approvals and 36 months for all new vehicles.
The draft proposal will shortly be available at

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