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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
Press release29 June 2020Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Study on retrofit technologies’ potential to reduce emissions from passenger cars and light commercial vehicles

In more than 130 cities across Europe, concentrations of NO2 and particulate matter exceed the limit values set out in Ambient Air Quality Directives. Many city authorities are introducing or considering introducing limits, taxation, or bans on older vehicles entering their cities, to reduce emissions and improve air quality.

The Commission's 2018 Horizon Prize on Engine Retrofit for Clean Air demonstrated the effectiveness and relatively low costs of retrofitting. It spurred the development of new technologies that can be applied to recent EURO 5 and EURO 6 diesel engines.

The current study will assess effectiveness of different retrofit technologies for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. Using laboratory and real driving emissions tests across a range of driving conditions, we will determine which technologies under which conditions can meet the Euro 6d emission limit values and access requirements for low emission zones. Ultimately, we will study possibilities for a retrofit technology certification scheme based on the assessment of the effectiveness of the retrofit options.

The participation of retrofit emission control (REC) systems providers is essential to this project. See more details on the open call for participation.

Background

Since the introduction of Euro 6d-temp and Euro 6d emission standards, vehicles are required to demonstrate effective emissions control in the Real Driving Emissions (RDE) on-road test combined with more stringent in-service conformity procedures. As a result, there is now a fleet of vehicles that genuinely control emissions in a wide range of real-world driving conditions.

Across the EU, the average age of vehicles ranges from 10 to 16 years, therefore it could take many years for a large share of the vehicles on the road to comply with the recently introduced Euro 6d standards. In addition, the cost of new vehicles provides a barrier for people who wish to reduce the emissions of their vehicle, whether they'd like to do so to obtain tax benefits, access city centres, or simply because it's better for the environment.

Consequently, retrofitting can play an important role in granting older vehicles access to areas restricting traffic for air quality purposes. The testing activity covers retrofit technologies for Euro 5 vehicles, while the assessment will consider Euro 4 to 6 vehicles too (except for the latest emission classes Euro 6d-temp and Euro 6d).

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