Commission says Euro 5 and 6 will reduce emissions from cars
Publication date: 07 November 2006
Reduced emissions from road transport are an important factor to improve air quality in urban areas, particularly because the numbers of diesel vehicles is increasing in many parts of the EU. Air quality limit values for NOx are often exceeded in densely populated areas close to major roads. The Euro 5 Regulation proposes to set tighter emission limits of particles and of NOx for new cars and vans sold in the EU market (e.g. 80% cut in the emission limit for particulate matter from diesel cars). This proposal is currently being discussed by the European Parliament and the Council.
In general the Euro 5 proposal has been well received. Beyond euro 5, a large majority of Member States and the Environment Committee of the EP have requested to reduce limits even more and to adopt a Euro 6 stage together with Euro 5. Euro 6 would set significantly lower emission limits for NOx emissions from diesel cars and would enter into force 5 years after Euro 5, i.e. in 2014/15. The Commission endorses this new approach, which has been subject to the necessary impact assessments, and is actively working to reach an inter-institutional agreement.
As the Euro 6 stage constitutes a significant tightening of the emission limits, the services of the Enterprise and Industry DG held a public hearing with stakeholders to discuss the proposal and to present an additional impact assessment on Euro 6. The impact assessment concludes that the price per diesel car will increase gradually by some € 600 up to 2015 (see table 1) and that the improvement in air quality will result in health benefits (see table 3) that are significantly greater than with just Euro 5 coming into effect. In a first phase the costs will go up by € 377 up to 2010.
The air will be cleaner
For the modelling of the environmental and health impacts of a Euro 6 stage, an emission limit for diesel cars of 80 mg/km coming into force in 2014 to 2015 was assumed. The results of the modelling suggest the following key aspects:
- There will be an additional 24% reduction in overall NOx emissions from light duty vehicles in 2020 compared to the introduction of Euro 5 only.
- This reduction in emissions will contribute to light duty vehicles meeting 26% of the target for NOx reduction contained in the draft European Commission Thematic Strategy for Air Pollution.
- Reductions in emissions will continue to grow after 2020 as the older, more polluting vehicles retire from the vehicle fleet.
- The forecast indicates that the introduction of Euro 6 will have no significant impact on CO2 emissions or sales of diesel vehicles.
- The NOx emission reduction from Euro 6 will increase the health benefits by approximately 60 – 90% relative to Euro 5.
The following table shows additional costs of reducing emissions from diesel cars. This shows that the extra cost of Euro 6 relative to Euro 5 is just over €200 per diesel car:
Table: Sales weighted average cost per diesel vehicle (2005 prices)
Cost per diesel car
Euro 5 cost relative to Euro 4
Euro 6 cost relative to Euro 5
Source: Adapted from Euro 5 Impact Assessment (SEC (2005) 1745)
Euro 6: Health benefits increase by 60 to 90%
In terms of health effects, the analysis of the impact on air quality of the combined contribution to emissions reduction of Euro 5 and Euro 6, is shown in table 2. This shows that further reducing emission limits at Euro 6 increases the health benefits by approximately 60% - 90% relative to Euro 5.
Table 2: Changes in Health Impacts Associated with Euro 5 and 6 in 2020
Reduction Euro 5
Reduction Euro 5& 6
Increase in benefit
Acute Mortality (All ages)
Chronic Mortality (30yr +)
Chronic Mortality (All ages)
Life years lost
Restricted Activity Days (RADs 15-64yr)
Source: RAINS, Environment DG
Figure 1 shows the reduction in limit values for emissions of NOx that have taken place in the last few years and the limit values that are in force in other important automotive markets.
Related News Item:
- Euro 5 standards: Cutting car emissions (14 September 2006)
For more information:
- Impact Assessment for Euro 6 Emission Limits for Light Duty Vehicles (Commission Staff Working Document)
- Public Hearing on 2 October 2006: Impact of Euro 6 Standards
- ACEA comments: Euro 5/6 Impact Assessments
impact_assessment_euro_6.pdf (104 KB)
hearing_euro_6.pdf (51 KB)
hearing_euro_6_acea_comments.pdf (130 KB)