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What Are the Euro Emission Standards & What Do They Mean?

Since 1992, the European Union has regulated the amount of emissions that can be produced by new vehicles. These emission regulations have since been used for other purposes other than just regulating the emissions that new vehicles are producing.

What are the Euro Emission Standards?

The Euro Emission Standards are the regulations that are placed on new vehicles being manufactured, limiting the amount of emissions that they can produce. These standards have been in place since 1992 with the introduction of Euro 1 and have since been updated since with the most recent standard being Euro 6.

What do the Euro Emission Standards mean?

Not only do the Euro Ratings limit the amount of emissions that a new vehicle can produce, but they often include certain components that must be included when the vehicle is manufactured. Here we will outline the limits set by each Euro Rating as well as any other regulations that they introduced.

Euro 1

Introduced in 1992, the Euro 1 standard required manufacturers to switch to unleaded petrol as well universally fit catalytic converters onto any new vehicles that they produce and intend to sell within the EU.

Euro 1 Emission Limits

  • CO – 2.72 g/km (petrol & diesel)
  • HC + NOx – 0.97 g/km (petrol & diesel)
  • PM – 0.14 g/km (diesel only)

Euro 2

With Euro 2, separate limits for petrol and diesel vehicles were introduced while also further reducing the limits for carbon monoxide emissions and the combined limit for unburned nitrogen oxide and hydrocarbons.

Euro 2 Emission Limits (Petrol)

  • CO – 2.2 g/km
  • HC + NOx – 0.5 g/km
  • PM – No limit

Euro 2 Emission Limits (Diesel)

  • CO – 1.0 g/km
  • HC + NOx – 0.7 g/km
  • PM – 0.08 g/km

Euro 3

Euro 3 continued to reduce the emission limits, further reducing the limit for carbon monoxide and diesel particulates while adding a separate NOx limit for diesel vehicles and separate NOx and HC limits for petrol vehicles.

This standard also eliminated the engine warm period from testing procedures.

Euro 3 Emission Limits (Petrol)

  • CO – 2.3 g/km
  • HC – 0.2 g/km
  • NOx – 0.15 g/km
  • PM – No limit

Euro 3 Emission Limits (Diesel)

  • CO – 0.64 g/km
  • HC + NOx – 0.56 g/km
  • NOx – 0.50 g/km
  • PM – 0.08 g/km

Euro 4

The Euro 4 standard focused on reducing emissions from diesel vehicles, particularly in the case of particulate matter (PM) as well as nitrogen oxides (NOx). Due to this focus, some Euro 4 diesel vehicles were fit with particulate filters.

Euro 4 Emission Limits (Petrol)

  • CO – 1.0 g/km
  • HC – 0.10 g/km
  • NOx – 0.08 g/km
  • PM – No limit

Euro 4 Emission Limits (Diesel)

  • CO – 0.50 g/km
  • HC + NOx – 0.30 g/km
  • NOx – 0.25 g/km
  • PM – 0.025 g/km

Euro 5

The introduction of Euro 5, the limits on PM from diesel vehicles were further tightened with all diesel vehicles requiring particulate filters before they could meet the standard. There was also additional limitations put on NOx levels and a particulates limit was applied to petrol engines for the first time, although this only applied to direct injection engines. Euro 5 also introduced a new limit on particle numbers as well as the particulate weight limit from before.

Euro 5 Emission Limits (Petrol)

  • CO – 1.0 g/km
  • HC – 0.10 g/km
  • NOx – 0.06 g/km
  • PM – 0.005 g/km (direct injection only)

Euro 5 Emission Limits (Diesel)

  • CO – 0.50 g/km
  • HC + NOx – 0.23 g/km
  • NOx – 0.18 g/km
  • PM – 0.005 g/km
  • PM – 0x10^11/km

Euro 6

The Euro 6 standard brought with it a significant reduction in the limits on NOx emissions from diesel vehicles and also included similar standards for both petrol and diesel engines.

With the introduction of Euro 6, some manufacturers began including Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) into their vehicles. This technology allowed a liquid reductant to be injected through a catalyst which turns the nitrogen oxide into water and nitrogen.

Euro 6 Emission Limits (Petrol)

  • CO – 1.0 g/km
  • HC – 0.10 g/km
  • NOx – 0.06 g/km
  • PM – 0.005 g/km (direct injection only)
  • PM – 6.0×10^11/km (direct injection only)

Euro 6 Emission Limits (Diesel)

  • CO – 0.50 g/km
  • HC + NOx – 0.17 g/km
  • NOx – 0.08 g/km
  • PM – 0.005 g/km
  • PM – 0x10^11/km

What are the Euro Ratings used for?

The primary purpose of the Euro Ratings is to set limits on the emissions of new vehicles being produced. However, governments and other council bodies have begun using them to inform other parts of the driving world. One example of this is in the UK with the introduction of Low Emission Zones (LEZ) across the country.

The LEZs place restrictions on which vehicles can pass through high congestion areas without incurring fees. In many places, the only vehicles that can pass through these areas without incurring a fee are those with Euro 6 rated engines. The aim of the Low Emission Zones are to reduce the amount of pollutants produced by combustion engines in vehicles on the road.

Which Euro Rating is your truck?

There are a number of ways that the Euro Rating of your vehicle can be looked up. The easiest way to do so is to enter your vehicle’s details into the lookup tool on the Vehicle Certification Agency Website.

However, if you’re located outside of the UK, you can contact the manufacturer of the vehicle. They will be able to provide information on the emissions and Euro status of the vehicle.

In need of Euro 6 truck?

Here at Walker Movements, we have a wide variety of used Euro 6 rated trucks which are all eligible for the Clean Air Grant Scheme in the UK. Whether you’re looking for a tractor unit, rigid truck or tipper we have you covered!

Browse our full range of available vehicles or contact our sales team on +44 (0) 1332 502 450 or email [email protected] to discuss your requirements.

Uploaded: 20 March 2023
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