Emission Standards in the EU - Beyond Euro 6

Emission Standards in the EU - Beyond Euro 6
12 October 2020

European emission standards are becoming more stringent, with the aim of reducing both the environmental impact and the negative impact on people’s health due to the emissions from cars, vans, trucks and buses. New standards in the EU have been implemented in stages previously and one of the most significant recent developments in emissions standards is the introduction of Real Driving Emissions (RDE) requirements. This article explores the implication of post-Euro 6 emission standards.

Post-Euro 6 implications with Ricardo emissions standards experts

In this article, Dr Giuliana Trippa, Emissions Legislation Consultant at Ricardo, gives an overview of the recent developments in EU emission standards and what’s expected for the future. Jon Andersson, Global Technical Expert in Emissions Measurements & Standards at Ricardo, gives an overview of the future trends for requirements on particle emissions from exhausts and Chief Engineer Ben Shalders shares how suppliers and manufacturers can get ready for post-Euro 6 with Ricardo.

Recent emissions standards developments in the EU, from Dr Giuliana Trippa

The European Commission published an initial assessment regarding the development of post-Euro 6/VI (also referred to as Euro 7/VII) emissions standards for light-duty and heavy-duty vehicles in the EU at the end of March 2020. It demonstrated a need to develop regulations further and move towards vehicles with zero emissions, along with stricter standards for vehicles with internal combustion engines. Three options have been preliminarily identified for developing post-Euro 6/VI emissions standards:

  • The first option would encompass a narrow revision of the existing standards by setting uniform air pollutant emissions requirements for all vehicles (independent of fuel and powertrain type), simplifying emissions tests and maintaining a focus on real-world testing.
  • The second option would include stricter air pollutant emission limits, common for all vehicles, including lower limits for currently regulated pollutants and/or limits for pollutants not currently regulated. This update could include emissions limits for non-volatile particles extending to sizes lower than 23 nm, N2O (nitrous oxide) and for cars and vans, CH4 (methane) and NH3 (ammonia).
  • The third option is a comprehensive revision which, in addition to the above, would introduce real-world emissions monitoring (on-board monitoring) over the entire lifetime of a vehicle.

A draft regulation for the new emissions standards is expected by the end of 2021.

Updates to the current Euro 6/VI standards are still continuing; as an example, for heavy-duty vehicles, PN (particle number) limits will apply during the on-road in-service conformity test from January 2021. RDE requirements are also expected to become more stringent for light-duty vehicles, over the next few years. Up to date information on the EU emission standards for passenger cars, light commercial vehicles and heavy-duty vehicles can be found in EMLEG - the Ricardo emissions legislation database. All of the developments in EU emissions standards will be continuously updated within the EMLEG database. For further information, arrange a demo with Dr Giuliana Trippa.

Future trends in requirements for particles in exhaust, from Jon Andersson

The Particle Measurement Programme (PMP) was established by UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) to develop a system for measuring the ultrafine particles emitted from heavy and light-duty vehicles, to complement the particulate mass measurement system. The PN limits were introduced to force the use of diesel particle filters, because of the adverse health effects of diesel soot particles.

Limits on particle numbers in light-duty vehicles’ exhausts in the EU were introduced back in 2011. A PN limit of 6.0×1011 #/km still applies for Euro 6 standards. Heavy-duty vehicles PN limits were introduced in 2013 with the implementation of Euro VI standards; the limit for PN, measured on the WHTC (World Harmonized Transient Cycle) is still in place and is 6.0×1011 #/kWh. The solid particle limit values currently target non-volatile particles larger than 23 nm. The limit on particle numbers effectively made necessary the installation of highly efficient wall-flow diesel particulate filters (DPFs) in all light-duty diesel vehicles. Recent investigations have highlighted that some light-duty vehicles can also emit substantial levels of particles with sizes lower than 23 nm that can originate from lubricant additives, nano-soot or very low volatility hydrocarbons.

Particles research developments

The mandate of the PMP has been extended and the European Commission has funded research projects aimed at developing new methodologies to quantify particles in exhaust gas that are smaller in size than 23 nm. Ricardo has been involved in both PMP and EU research aspects of the developments for methodologies relating to particles with sizes lower than 23 nm.

Future legislation is expected to feature a limit including these smaller sized particles. Ricardo has prototype measurement systems available to assist in the investigation of engines, aftertreatment solutions, fuels, lubricants and additives compliant with potential future emissions requirements in this area. The prototypes were developed through Ricardo’s involvement in the EU funded project DownToTen, aimed at developing methodologies to quantify particles as low as 10 nm. Ricardo has also developed calibration approaches suitable for the new measurement systems and can provide this service to global manufacturers and users. For further information, contact Jon Andersson.

Preparing for future emissions requirements, from Ben Shalders

There are many ways Ricardo can support automotive manufacturers and suppliers to prepare for future emissions requirements, within Euro 6 and beyond; some of these are described below.

  • Workshop
    • Prepare your team with a workshop covering potential new pollutants (measurement, formation mechanisms, means of control), aftertreatment requirements, future on-board diagnostics and on-board monitoring (OBM) techniques.
  • Assessment of current application performance against future emissions requirements
    • Carry out an assessment of existing fleet against potential Euro 7 emissions limits and test cycle requirements. The assessment provides a gap analysis to be addressed by a combination of hardware changes or calibration updates. The assessment can also include calibration and control sensitivity studies to show development potential to achieve limits with current hardware.
  • Hardware definition and selection
    • Ricardo can consult and support hardware definition and selection for Euro 7 solutions, based on estimated future limits. Activities can be rig, engine/powertrain dyno or vehicle-based. The task can be led by simulations executed within Ricardo’s iMBD (Integrated Model Based Development) toolset. The process helps organisations establish expected performance, potentially supported by physical vehicle tests. Results can be compared for both currently regulated emissions and new pollutants.
  • Expected legislative requirements for future on-board monitoring and potential developments
    • The possible mandatory addition of sensors in an exhaust has further potential benefits that can be gained using these signals in advanced control system algorithms. Furthermore, Ricardo uses big data techniques for trend analysis and prognostics for a variety of purposes. e.g. identifying outlying emitting vehicles and/or operating conditions of concern. Signals from OBM sensors fitted to advanced engineering demonstrators are well suited to such techniques. Projects in this area could show the future production potential for recommending remedial actions; these may potentially be service actions to reduce warranty and non-conformance, or recommendations for calibration development.

Ricardo is a technology leader that already works with global brands as an engineering partner to define, develop and engineer future emissions solutions for upcoming emissions standards and regulations. For further information on how Ricardo can best help you to prepare for these new legislations, please contact Ben Shalders.

Emissions legislation is evolving rapidly, to keep up to speed with the phase-in of new regulations and to get an understanding of how to interpret significant developments, consider a subscription to EMLEG. Ricardo’s emission standards database provides a summary of legislation, real driving emissions test requirements and an explanation of emissions test procedures. Legislation is searchable by country or via market sector.