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Brussels, 16th December 2008

In 2012 - Less nitrogen oxides and particulate matters from trucks and buses: EP supports new EURO VI norm

The European Commission welcomes today’s support of the European Parliament for its proposal to reduce in 2012 emissions from trucks and busses of nitrogen oxides by 80% and particulate matter by 66% compared to the Euro V stage. The proposal will also add to the competitiveness of the European automotive industry through the introduction of world-wide harmonised test procedures and standards. At the same time current legislation will be simplified as directives, which up to now need to be transposed in 27 different national legislations, will be replaced by regulations which are directly applicable. The EP vote is based on a compromise reached with the Member States, who are expected to adopt the package shortly.

Commission Vice-President, Günter Verheugen, responsible for enterprise and industry, said: “Today’s agreement of the European Parliament is a good message for the environment. Soon we will have cleaner trucks and buses, which will be trendsetters worldwide. As agreed in CARS 21 we are creating a win-win situation –we strengthen the competitiveness of our producers, we keep jobs in Europe and we improve the environmental performance. This legislation is also an example better regulation. I invite the EU States to support this ambitious legislation.”

Member States and their citizens are concerned about the impacts of air pollution on human health and the environment. Although air quality has improved over the past decade, there are still significant air quality problems throughout the European Union, especially in urban areas and in densely populated regions.

To address this problem, the Euro VI proposal, due to enter into force from the end of 2012, lays down common EU rules on heavy motor vehicles and their engines with regard to pollutant emissions. In particular, the proposal foresees a reduction of 80% in nitrogen oxides (NOx) and 66% in particulate matter (PM) emissions compared to the Euro V stage limits which entered into force in October 2008.

The proposal was developed following the principles of Better Regulation and the recommendations from the High Level Group for Competitive Automotive Regulatory System for the 21st century (CARS 21). In particular:

  • the feedback received in the public consultation has been fully taken into account;
  • the proposed standards provide a high benefit in relation to the cost according to the evaluation made through a proper impact assessment;
  • the current directives will be repealed and will be replaced by directly applicable regulations thus reducing the delays inherent in the transposition of directives;
  • the proposal introduces global harmonised test procedures and standards with limit values equivalent to those of the United States of America.

In addition to more stringent limit values, the proposal introduces provisions on off cycle emissions, on-board diagnostic, access to repair information, durability of pollution control devices, replacement pollution control devices, conformity of in-service engines and vehicles, carbon dioxide emissions and fuel consumption measurement. The proposal also foresees the introduction of a particle number limit value. These measures aim at reinforcing the effectiveness of heavy vehicle emissions legislation.

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